Skip to main content

Full text of "A short history of England, Ireland, And Scotland"

See other formats

3 jifilFlrt ' 




Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2013 

Magna Charta, 1215: Kin;jj John submits to the Barons, 
and signs the Great Charter of British Liberties. 






4i i 



Copyright, 1895, by 

Copyright, 1898, 1900, 1906, by 


Will the readers of this little work please 
bear in mind the difficulties which must at- 
tend the painting of a very large picture, 
with multitudinous characters and details, 
upon a very small canvas ! This book is 
mainly an attempt to trace to their sources 
some of the currents which enter into the 
life of Great Britain to-day, and to indicate 
the starting-points of some among the vari- 
ous threads — legislative, judicial, social, etc. 
— which are gathered into the imposing 
strand of English civilization in this closing 
nineteenth century. 

The reader will please observe that there 
seem to have been two things most closely 
interwoven with the life of England — Re- 
ligion and money have been the great 
evolutionary factors in her development. 

It has been, first, the resistance of the 


peopie to the extortions of money by the 
ruling class, and second, the violating of 
their religious instincts, which has made 
nearly all that is vital in English history. 

The lines upon which the government has 
developed to its present constitutional form 
are chiefly lines of resistance to oppressive 
enactments in these two matters. The 
dynastic and military history of England, 
although picturesque and interesting, is 
really only a narrative of the external 
causes which have impeded the nation's 
growth toward its ideal of " the greatest 
possible good to the greatest possible num- 

The historic development of Ireland 
and Scotland, and the events which have 
brought these two countries into organic 
union with England are, of necessity, very 
briefly related. 

M. P. P. 


Chapter I. 


Ancient Britain — Caesar's Invasion — Britain a Ro- 
man Province — Boadicea — Lyndin or London 
— Roman Legions Withdrawn — Angles and 
Saxons — Cerdic — Teutonic Invasion — Eng- 
lish Kingdoms Consolidated 9 

'D 1 

Chapter II. 

Augustine — Edwin — Caedmon — Baeda — Alfred — 
Canute — Edward the Confessor — Harold — 
William the Conqueror 25 

Chapter III. 

44 Gilds" and Boroughs — William II. — Crusades 
— Henry I. — Henry II. — Becket's Death — 
Richard I. — John — Magna Charta 40 

Chapter IV. 

Henry III. — Roger Bacon — First True Parlia- 
ment — Edward I. — Conquest of Wales — of 
Scotland — Edward II. — Edward III. — Battle 
of Crecy— Richard II.— Wickliffe 51 

Chapter V. 


House of Lancaster — Henry IV. — Henry V. — 
Agincourt — Battle of Orleans — Wars of the 
Roses — House of York — Edward IV. — Rich- 
ard III. — Henry VII. — Printing Introduced. 62 

Chapter VI. 

Henry VIII . — Wolsey — Reformation — Edward 
VI.— Mary 73 

Chapter VII. 

Elizabeth— East India Company Chartered- 
Colonization of Virginia — Flodden Field — 
Birth of Mary Stuart — Mary Stuart's Death 
— Spanish Armada — Francis Bacon 82 

Chapter VIII. 

James I. — First New England Colony — Gunpow- 
der Plot — Translation of Bible — Charles I. — 
Archbishop Laud — John Hampden — Petition 
of Might — Massachusetts Chartered — Earl 
Strafford — Sta?' Chamber 97 

Chapter IX. 

Long Parliament — Death of Strafford and Laud 
— Oliver Cromwell — Death of Charles I. — 
Long Parliament Dispersed — Charles II 114 

Chapter X. 


Act of Habeas Corpus — Death of Charles II. — 
Milton — Bunyan — James II. — William and 
Mary — Battle of the Boyne 122 

Chapter XL 

Anne — Marlborough — Battle of Blenheim — 
House of Hanover — George I. — George II. — 
Walpole — British Dominion in India — Bat- 
tle of Quebec — John Wesley 131 

Chapter XII. 

George III. — Stamp Act — Tax on Tea — American 
Independence Acknowledged — Impeachment 
of Hastings — War of 1812 — First English 
Railway — George IV. — William IV. — Reform 
Bill — Emancipation of the Slaves 143 

Chapter XIII. 

Victoria — Famine in Ireland — War with Russia — 
Sepoy Rebellion — Massacre at Cawnpore 159 

Chapter XIV. 

Atlantic Cable — Daguerre's Discovery — First 
World's Fair — Death of Albert — Suez Canal 
— Victoria Empress of India — Disestablish- 
ment of Irish Branch of Church of England 
— Present Conditions 169 




Pre-Christian Ireland— From Augustine to Eng- 
lish Conquest — From Henry II. to Elizabeth 
— From Elizabeth to William III. and Mary 
— From William III. to Act of Union — 
—From Act of Union to death of Parnell— 
New Land Acts 199 


Early Celtic Period — Period from Malcolm III. 
to Robert Bruce — From Bruce to James I. — 
From James I. to Union of Crowns — From 
Union of Crowns to Treaty of Union — 
Brief Summary of Period Since the Treaty 
of Union 249 


Magna Charta, 1215: King John submits to the 
Barons, and signs the Great Charter of 
British Liberties Frontispiece 


Queen Elizabeth going on board the " Golden 

Hind" 80 

Cromwell dissolving the Long Parliament, 1653 116 

Nelson's Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, 

1805 144 

The British Squares at Quatre-Bras, 181 5 . . 150 

The British in India: A native prince receiving 
the decoration of the order of the Star of 
India from Albert Edward, the Prince of 
Wales 170 



The remotest fact in the history of Eng- 
land is written in her rocks. Geology tells 
us of a time when no sea flowed between 
Dover and Calais, while an unbroken conti- 
nent extended from the Mediterranean to 
the Orkneys. 

Huge mounds of rough stones called 
Cromlechs, have yielded up still another 
secret. Before the coming of the Keltic- 
Aryans, there dwelt there two successive 
races, whose story is briefly told in a few 
human fragments found in these " Crom- 
lechs." These remains do not bear the 
royal marks of Aryan origin. The men 
were small in stature, with inferior skulls ; 
and it is surmised that they belonged to the 
same mysterious branch of the human fam- 


ily as the Basques and Iberians, whose pres- 
ence in Southern Europe has never been 

When the Aryan came and blotted out 
these races will perhaps always remain an 
unanswered queston. But while Greece was 
clothing herself with a mantle of beauty, 
which the world for two thousand years has 
striven in vain to imitate, there was lying 
on the North and West coasts of the Euro- 
pean Continent a group of mist-enshrouded 
islands of which she had never heard. 

Obscured by fogs, and beyond the horizon 
of Civilization, a branch of the Aryan race 
known as Britons were there leading lives 
as primitive as the American Indians, dwell- 
ing in huts shaped like beehives, which 
they covered with branches and plastered 
with mud. While Phidias was carving im- 
mortal statues for the Parthenon, this early 
Britisher was decorating his abode with the 
heads of his enemies ; and could those shape- 
less blocks at Stonehenge speak, they 
would, perhaps, tell of cruel and hideous 
Druidical rites witnessed on Salisbury 
Plain, ages ago. 


Rumors of the existence of this people 
reached the Mediterranean three or four 
hundred years before Christ, but not until 
Caesar's invasion of the Island (55 B.C.) 
was there any positive knowledge of them. 

The actual conquest of Britain was not 
one of Caesar's achievements. But from the 
moment when his covetous eagle - eye 
viewed the chalk-cliffs of Dover from the 
coast of Northern Gaul, its fate was sealed. 
The Roman octopus from that moment had 
fastened its tentacles upon the hapless land; 
and in 45 a.d., under the Emperor Claudius, 
it became a Roman province. In vain did the 
Britons struggle for forty years. In vain 
did the heroic Boadicea (during the reign 
of Nero, 61 a.d.), like Hermann in Germany, 
and Vercingetorix in France, resist the de- 
struction of her nation by the Romans. In 
vain did this woman herself lead the Brit- 
ons, in a frenzy of patriotism; and when 
the inevitable defeat came, and London was 
lost, with the desperate courage of the bar- 
barian she destroyed herself rather than 
witness the humiliation of her race. 

The stately Westminster and St. Paul's 


did not look down upon this heroic daughter 
of Britain. London at that time was a 
collection of miserable huts and entrenched 
cattle-pens, which were in Keltic speech 
called the "Fort-on-the-Lake" — or "Llyn- 
din," an uncouth name in Latin ears, which 
gave little promise of the future London, 
the Eomans helping it to its final form by 
calling it Londinium. 

But the octopus had firmly closed about 
its victim, whose struggles, before the year 
100 a.d., had practically ceased. A civili- 
zation which made no effort to civilize was 
forcibly planted upon the island. Where 
had been the humble village, protected by 
a ditch and felled trees, there arose the 
walled city, with temples and baths and 
forum, and stately villas with frescoed 
walls and tessellated floors, and hot-air 
currents converting winter into summer. 

So Chester, Colchester, Lincoln, York, 
London, and a score of other cities were set 
like jewels in a surface of rough clay, the 
Britons filling in the intervening spaces 
with their own rude customs, habits, and 
manners. Dwelling in wretched cabins 


thatched with straw and chinked with mud, 
they still stubbornly maintained their own 
uncouth speech and nationality, while they 
helplessly saw all they could earn swallowed 
up in taxes and tributes by their insatiate 
conquerors. The Keltic - Gauls might, if 
they would, assimilate this Eoman civiliza- 
tion, but not so the Keltic-Britons. 

The two races dwelt side by side, but sep- 
arate (except to some extent in the cities), 
or, if possible, the vanquished retreated be- 
fore the vanquisher into Wales and Corn- 
wall ; and there to-day are found the only 
remains of the aboriginal Briton race in 

The Eoman General Agricola had built in 
78 a.d. a massive wall across the North of 
England, extending from sea to sea, to pro- 
tect the Eoman territory from the Picts and 
Scots, those wild dwellers in the Northern 
Highlands. It seems to us a frail barrier 
to a people accustomed to leaping the rocky 
wall set by nature between the North and the 
South ; and unless it were maintained by a 
line of legions extending its entire length, 
they must have laughed at such a defence; 



even when duplicated later, as it was, by 
the Emperor Hadrian, in 120 a.d. ; and still 
twice again, first by Emperor Antoninus, 
and then by Severus. For the swift trans- 
portation of troops in the defensive warfare 
always carried on with the Picts and Scots, 
magnificent roads were built, which linked 
the Eomanized cities together in a network 
of splendid highways. 

There were more than three centuries of 
peace. Agriculture, commerce, and indus- 
tries came into existence. " Wealth accumu- 
lated," but the Briton "decayed" beneath 
the weight of a splendid system, which had 
not benefited, but had simply crushed out 
of him his original vigor. Together with 
Eoman villas, and vice, and luxury, had 
also come Christianity. But the Briton, if 
he had learned to pray, had forgotten how 
to fight, — and how to govern; and now the 
Roman Empire was perishing. She needed 
all her legions to keep Alaric and his Goths 
out of Eome. 

In 410 a.d. the fair cities and roads were 
deserted. The tramp of Eoman soldiers 
was heard no more in the land, and the 


enfeebled native race were left helpless and 
alone to fight their battles with the Picts 
and Scots; — that fierce Briton offshoot 
which had for centuries dwelt in the fast- 
nesses of the Highlands, and which swarmed 
down upon them like vultures as soon as 
their protectors were gone. 

In 446 a.d. the unhappy Britons invited 
their fate. Like their cousins, the Gauls, 
they invited the Teutons from across the sea 
to come to their rescue, and with result 
far more disastrous. 

When the Frank became the champion 
and conqueror of Gaul, he had for centuries 
been in conflict or in contact with Eome, 
and had learned much of the old Southern 
civilizations, and to some extent adopted 
their ideals. Not so the Angles and Saxons, 
who came pouring into Britain from Schles- 
wig-Holstein. They were uncontaminated 
pagans. In scorn of Eoman luxury, they 
set the torch to the villas, and temples and 
baths. They came, exterminating, not as- 
similating. The more complaisant Frank 
had taken Romanized, Latinized Gaul just 
as he found her, and had even speedily 


adopted her religion. It was for Gaul a 
change of rulers, but not of civilization. 

But the Angles and Saxons were Teutons 
of a different sort. They brought across 
the sea in those "keels" their religion, 
their manners, habits, nature, and speech; 
and they brought them for use (just as the 
Englishman to-day carries with him a little 
England wherever he goes) . Their religion, 
habits, and manners they stamped upon the 
helpless Britons. In spite of King Arthur, 
and his knights, and his sword "Excalibur," 
they swiftly paganized the land which had 
been for three centuries Christianized ; and 
their nature and speech were so ground 
into the land of their adoption that they 
exist to-day wherever the Anglo - Saxon 

From Windsor Palace to the humblest 
abode in England (and in America) are to 
be found the descendants of these dominat- 
ing barbarians who flooded the British Isles 
in the 5th Century. What sort of a race 
were they? Would we understand England 
to-day, we must understand them. It is not 
sufficient to know that they were bearded 


and stalwart, fair and ruddy, flaxen-haired 
and with coid blue eyes. We should know 
what sort of souls looked out of those clear 
cold eyes. What sort of impulses and 
hearts dwelt within those brawny breasts. 

Their hearts were barbarous, but loving 
and loyal, and nature had placed them in 
strong, vehement, ravenous bodies. They 
were untamed brutes, with noble instincts. 

They had ideals too; and these are re- 
vealed in the rude songs and epics in which 
they delighted. Monstrous barbarities are 
committed, but always to accomplish some 
stern purpose of duty. They are cruel in 
order to be just. This sluggish, ravenous, 
drinking brute, with no gleam of tenderness, 
no light-hearted rhythm in his soul, has yet 
chaotic glimpses of the sublime in his ear- 
nest, gloomy nature. He gives little promise 
of culture, but much of heroism. There is, 
too, a reaching after something grand and 
invisible, which is a deep religious instinct. 
All these qualities had the future English 
nation slumbering within them. Marriage 
was sacred, woman honored. All the mem- 
bers of a family were responsible for the 


acts of one member. The sense of obliga- 
tion and of responsibility was strong and 

Is not every type of English manhood 
explained by such an inheritance? From the 
drunken brawler in his hovel to the English 
gentleman "taking his pleasures sadly," all 
are accounted for; and Hampden, Milton, 
Cromwell, John Bright, and Gladstone ex- 
isted potentially in those fighting, drinking 
savages in the 5th Century. 

Their religion, after 150 years, was ex- 
changed for Christianity. Time softened 
their manners and habits, and mingled new 
elements with their speech. But the Anglo- 
Saxon nature has defied the centuries and 
change. A strong sense of justice, and a 
resolute resistance to encroachments upon 
personal liberty, are the warp and woof 
of Anglo-Saxon character yesterday, to-day 
and forever. The steady insistence of these 
traits has been making English History for 
precisely 1,400 years, (from 495 to 1895,) 
and the history of the Anglo-Saxon race in 
America for 200 years as well. 

Our ancestors brought with them from 


their native land a simple, just, Teutonic 
structure of society and government, the 
base of which was the individual free-man. 
The family was considered the social unit. 
Several families near together made a town- 
ship, the affairs of the township being set- 
tled by the male freeholders, who met 
together to determine by conference what 
should be done. 

This was the germ of the "town-meet- 
ing" and of popular government. In the 
" witan, " or " wise men, " who were chosen as 
advisers and adjusters of difficult questions, 
exist the future legislature and judiciary, 
while in the king, or " alder-mann" 
(" Ealdorman") we see not an oppressor, 
but one who by superior age and experience 
is fitted to lead. Cerdic, first Saxon king, 
was simply Cerdic the "Ealdorman" or 
" Alder-mann." 

They were a free people from the begin- 
ning. They had never bowed the neck to 
yoke, their heads had never bent to tyranny. 
Better far was it that Eoman civilization, 
built upon Keltic-Briton foundation, should 
have been effaced utterly, and that this 


strong untamed humanity, even cruel and 
terrible as it was, should replace it. Roman 
laws, language, literature, faith, manners, 
were all swept away. A few mosaics, coins, 
and ruined fragments of walls and roads are 
all the record that remains of 300 years of 

And the Briton himself — what became of 
him? In Ireland and Scotland he lingers 
still; but, except in Wales and Cornwall, 
England knows him no more. Like the 
American Indian, he was swept into the re- 
mote, inaccessible corners of his own land. 
It seemed cruel, but it had to be. Would 
we build strong and high, it must not be 
upon sand. We distrust the Kelt as a 
foundation for nations as we do sand for 
our temples. France was never cohesive 
until a mixture of Teuton had toughened 
it. Genius makes a splendid spire, but a 
poor corner-stone. It would seem that the 
Keltic race, brilliant and richly endowed, 
was still unsuited to the world in its higher 
stages of development. In Britain, Gaul, 
and Spain they were displaced and absorbed 
by the Germanic races. And now for long 


centuries no Keltic people of importance 
has maintained its independence ; the Gaelic 
of the Scotch Highlands and of Ireland, the 
native dialect of the Welsh and of Brittany, 
being the scanty remains of that great fam- 
ily of related tongues which once occupied 
more territory than German, Latin, and 
Greek combined. The solution of the Irish 
question may lie in the fact that the Irish 
are fighting against the inevitable; that 
they belong to a race which is on its way to 
extinction, and which is intended to survive 
only as a brilliant thread, wrought into the 
texture of more commonplace but more en- 
during peoples. 

It was written in the book of fate that a 
great nation should arise upon that green 
island by the North Sea. A foundation of 
Roman cement, made by a mingling of Kel- 
tic-Briton, and a corrupt, decayed civiliza- 
tion, would have altered not alone the fate 
of a nation, but the History of the World. 
Our barbarian ancestors brought from 
Schleswig-Holstein a rough, clean, strong 
foundation for what was to become a new 
type of humanity on the face of the earth. 


A Humanity which was not to be Persian 
nor Greek, nor yet Koman, but to be nour- 
ished on the best results of all, and to be- 
come the standard-bearer for the Civilization 
of the future. 

The Jutes came first as an advance-guard 
of the great Teuton invasion. It was but 
the prologue to the play when Hengist and 
Horsa, in 449 a.d., occupied what is now 
Kent, in the Southeast extremity of Eng- 
land. It was only when Cerdic and his 
Saxons placed foot on British soil (495 a.d.) 
that the real drama began. And when the 
Angles shortly afterward followed and oc- 
cupied all that the Saxons had not appro- 
priated (the north and east coast), the actors 
were all present and the play began. The 
Angles were destined to bestow their name 
upon the land (Angle-land), and the Saxons 
a line of kings extending from Cerdic to 

Covetous of each other's possessions, these 
Teutons fought as brothers will. Exter- 
minating the Britons was diversified with 
efforts to exterminate one another. Seven 
kingdoms, four Anglian and three Saxon, 


for 300 years tried to annihilate each other; 
then, finally submitting to the strongest, 
united completely, — as only children of one 
household of nations can do. The Saxons 
had been for two centuries dominating more 
and more until the long struggle ended — 
behold, Anglo-Saxon England consolidated 
under one Saxon king! The other king- 
doms — Northumbria, Mercia, East Anglia, 
Kent, Sussex, and Essex — surviving as 
shires and counties. 

In 802 a.d., while Charlemagne was weld- 
ing together his vast and composite empire, 
the Saxon Egbert (Ecgberht)_, descendant of 
Cerdic (the " Alder-mann"), was consolidat- 
ing a less imposing, but, as it has proved, 
more permanent kingdom ; and the History 
of a United England had begun. 

While Christianity had been effaced by 
the Teuton invasion in England, it had sur- 
vived among the Irish-Britons. Ireland was 
never paganized. With fiery zeal, her peo- 
ple not alone^maintained the religion of the 
Cross at home*, but even drove back the 
heathen flood by sending missionaries 
among the Picts in the Highjands, and into 



other outlying territory about the North 

Pope Gregory the Great saw this Keltic 
branch of Christendom, actually outrunning 
Latin Christianity in activity, and he was 
spurred to an act which was to be fraught 
with tremendous consequences. 


The same spot in Kent (the isle of 
Thanet), which had witnessed the landing 
of Hengist and Horsa in 449, saw in 597 
a band of men, calling themselves " Stran- 
gers from Rome," arriving under the lead- 
ership of Augustine. 

They moved in solemn procession toward 
Canterbury, bearing before them a silver 
cross, with a picture of Christ, chanting in 
concert, as they went, the litany of their 
Church. Christianity had entered by the 
same door through which paganism had 
come 150 years before. 

The religion of Wodin and Thor had 
ceased to satisfy the expanding soul of the 
Anglo-Saxon; and the new faith rapidly 
spread ; its charm consisting in the light it 
seemed to throw upon the darkness encom- 
passing man's past and future. 


An aged chief said to Edwin, king of Nor- 
thumbria, (after whom "Edwins-borough" 
was named,) "Oh, King, as a bird flies 
through this hall on a winter night, coming 
out of the darkness, and vanishing into the 
darkness again, even so is our life! If 
these strangers can tell us aught of what 
is beyond, let us hear them." 

King Edwin was among the first to espouse 
the new religion, and in less than one hun- 
dred years the entire land was Christianized. 

With the adoption of Christianity a new 
life began to course in the veins of the 

Csedmon, an unlettered Northumbrian 
peasant, was inspired by an Angel who 
came to him in his sleep and told him to 
"Sing." "He was not disobedient unto the 
heavenly vision." He wrote epics upon all 
the sacred themes, from the creation of the 
World to the Ascension of Christ and the 
final judgment of man, and English litera- 
ture was born. 

" Paradise Lost," one thousand years later, 
was but the echo of this poet-peasant, who 
was the Milton of the 7th Century. 


In the 8th Century, Baeda (the venerable 
Beda), another Northumbrian, who was 
monk, scholar, and writer, wrote the first 
History of his people and his country, and 
discoursed upon astronomy, physics, me- 
teorology, medicine, and philosophy. These 
were but the early lispings of Science; but 
they held the germs of the "British Associa- 
tion" and of the " Royal Society;" for as 
English poetry has its roots in Caedmon, so 
is English intellectual life rooted in Baeda. 

The culmination of this new era was in 
Alfred, who came to the throne of his 
grandfather, Egbert, in 871. 

He brought the highest ideals of the 
duties of a King, a broad, statesmanlike 
grasp of conditions, an unsullied heart, and 
a clear, strong intelligence, with unusual 
inclination toward an intellectual life. 

Few Kings have better deserved the title 
of "great." With Inmjbegaji ihe first con- 
ception of Na tional law. He prepared a 
code for the admmTstration of justice in his 
Kingdom, which was prefaced by the Ten 
Commandments, and ended with the Golden 
Rule ; while in his leisure hours he gave co- 


herence and form to the literature of the 
time. Taking the writings of Csedmon, 
Baeda, Pope Gregory, and Boethius; trans- 
lating, editing, commentating, and adding 
his own to the views of others upon a wide 
range of subjects. 

He was indeed the father not alone of a 
legal system in England, but of her culture 
and literature besides. The people of Wan- 
tage, his native town, did well, in 1849, to 
celebrate the one-thousandth anniversary of 
the birth of the great King Alfred. 

But a condition of decadence was in prog- 
ress in England, which Alfred's wise reign 
was powerless to arrest, and which his 
greatness may even have tended to hasten. 
The distance between the king and the peo- 
ple had widened from a mere step to a 
gulf. When the Saxon kings began to be 
clothed with a mysterious dignity as "the 
Lord's anointed," the people were corres- 
pondingly degraded; and the degradation 
of this class, in which the true strength 
of England consisted, bore unhappy but 
natural fruits. 

A slave or "unfree" class had come with 


the Teutons from their native land. This 
small element had for centuries now been 
swelled by captives taken in war, and by 
accessions through misery, poverty, and 
debt, which drove men to sell themselves 
and families and wear the collar of ser- 
vitude. The slave was not under the lash ; 
but he was a mere chattel, having no more 
part than cattle (from w T hom this title is de- 
rived) in the real life of the state. 

In addition to this, political and social 
changes had been long modifying the struc- 
ture of society in a way tending to degrade 
the general condition. As the lesser King- 
doms were merged into one large one, the 
wider dominion of the king removed him 
further from the people; every succeeding 
reign raising him higher, depressing them 
lower, until the old English freedom was lost. 

The " folk - moot" and " Witenagemot"* 
were heard of no more. The life of the 
early English State had been in its " folk- 
moot, "and hence rested upon the individual 
English freeman, who knew no superior but 

* Witenagemot — a Council composed of "Witan" or 
" Wise Men." 


God, and the law. Now, he had sunk into 
the mere "villein," bound to follow his lord 
to the field, to give him his personal ser- 
vice, and to look to him alone for justice. 
With the decline of the freeman (or of 
popular government) came Anglo - Saxon 
degeneracy, which made him an easy prey 
to the Danes. 

The Northmen were a perpetual menace 
and scourge to England and Scotland. 
There never could be any feeling of perma- 
nent security while that hostile flood was 
always ready to press in through an un- 
guarded spot on the coast. The sea wolves 
and robbers from Norway came devouring, 
pillaging, and ravaging, and then away 
again to their own homes or lairs. Their 
boast was that they "scorned to earn by 
sweat what they might win by blood." But 
the Northmen from Denmark were of a 
different sort. They were looking for 
permanent conquest, and had dreams of 
Empire, and, in fact, had had more or 
less of a grasp upon English soil for 
centuries before Alfred; and one of his 
greatest achievements was driving these 


hated invaders out of England. In 1013, 
under the leadership of Sweyn, they once 
more poured in upon the land, and after a 
brief but fierce struggle a degenerate Eng- 
land was gathered into the iron hand of the 

Canute, the son of Sweyn, continued the 
successes of his father, conquering in Scot- 
land Duncan (slain later by Macbeth), and 
proceeded to realize his dream of a great 
Scandinavian empire, which should incbide 
Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and England. 
He was one of those monumental men who 
mark the periods in the pages of History, 
and yet child enough to command the tides 
to cease, and when disobeyed, was so hu- 
miliated, it is said, he never again placed a 
crown upon his head, acknowledging the 
presence of a King greater than himself. 

Conqueror though he was, the Dane was 
not exactly a foreigner in England. The 
languages of the two nations were almost 
the same, and a race affinity took away 
much of the bitterness of the subjugation, 
while Canute ruled more as a wise native 
King than as a Conqueror. 

3 2 -1 

But the span of life, even of a founder of 
Empire, is short. Canute's sons were de- 
generate, cruel, and in forty years after the 
Conquest had so exasperated the Anglo-Sax- 
ons that enough of the primitive spirit re- 
turned, to throw off the foreign yoke, and 
the old Saxon line was restored in Edward, 
known as "the Confessor." 

Edward had qualities more fitted to 
adorn the cloister than the throne. He 
was more of a Saint than King, and was 
glad to leave the affairs of his realm in the 
hands of Earl Godwin. This man was the 
first great English statesman who had been 
neither Priest nor King. Astute, powerful, 
dexterous, he was virtual ruler of the King- 
dom until the death of the childless Kincr 
Edward in 1066, when Godwin's son Harold 
was called to the empty throne. 

Foreign royal alliances have caused no 
end of trouble in the life of Kingdoms. A 
marriage between a Saxon King and a Nor- 
man Princess, in about the year 1000 a.d., 
has made a vast deal of history. This Prin- 
cess of Normandy, was the grandmother of 
the man, who was to be known as "William 


the Conqueror." In the absence of a di- 
rect heir to the English throne, made vacant 
by Edward's death, this descent gave a shad- 
owy claim to the ambitious Duke across the 
Channel, which he was not slow to use for 
his own purposes. 

He asserted that Edward had promised 
that he should succeed him, and that Har- 
old, the son of Godwin, had assured him of 
his assistance in securing his rights upon 
the death of Edward the Confessor. A tre- 
mendous indignation stirred his righteous 
soul when he heard of the crowning of 
Harold ; not so much at the loss of the 
throne, as at the treachery of his friend. 

In the face of tremendous opposition and 
difficulties, he got together his reluctant 
Barons and a motley host, actually cutting 
down the trees with which to create a fleet, 
and then, depending upon pillage for sub- 
sistence, rushed to face victory or ruin. 

The Battle of Senlac (or Hastings) has 
been best told by a woman's hand in the 
famous Bayeux Tapestry. An arrow pierced 
the unhappy Harold in the eye, entering the 
brain, and the head which had worn the 


crown of England ten short months lay in 
the dust, William, with wrath unappeased, 
refusing him burial. 

William, Duke of Normandy, was King 
of England. Not alone that. He claimed 
that he had been rightful King ever since 
the death of his cousin Edward the Con- 
fessor; and that those who had supported 
Harold were traitors, and their lands confis- 
cated to the crown. As nearly all had been 
loyal to Harold, the result was that most 
of the wealth of the Nation was emptied into 
William's lap, not by right of conquest, but 
by English law. 

Feudalism had been gradually stifling old 
English freedom, and the King saw himself 
confronted with a feudal baronage, nobles 
claiming hereditary, military, and judicial 
power independent of the King, such as de- 
graded the Monarchy and riveted down the 
people in France for centuries. With the 
genius of the born ruler and conqueror, 
William discerned the danger and its 
remedy. Availing himself of the early 
legal constitution of England, he placed 
justice in the old local courts of the 



" hundred" and "shire," to which every free- 
man had access, and these courts he placed 
under the jurisdiction of the King alone. In 
Germany and France the vassal owned su- 
preme fealty to his lord, against all foes, even 
the King himself. In England, the tenant 
from this time swore direct fealty to none 
save his King. 

With the unbounded wealth at his dis- 
posal, William granted enormous estates to 
his followers upon condition of military ser- 
vice at his call. In other words, he seized 
the entire landed property of the State, and 
then usecTlt' to buy the allegiance of the 
people. By this means the whole Nation 
was at his command as an army subject to 
his will: and there was at the same time a 
breaking up of old feudal tyrannies by a 
redistribution of the soil under a new form 
of land tenure. 

The City of London was rewarded for in- 
stant submission by a Charter, signed, — not 
by his name — but his mark, for the Con- 
queror of England (from whom Victoria is 
twenty-fifth remove in descent), could not 
write his name. 


He built the Tower of London, to hold the 
City in restraint. Fortress, palace, prison, 
it stands to-day the grim progenitor of the 
Castles and Strongholds which soon frowned 
from every height in England. 

He took the outlawed, despised Jew under 
his protection ; not as a philanthropist, but 
seeing in him a being who was always 
accumulating wealth, which could in any 
emergency be wrung from him by torture, 
if milder measures failed. Their hoarded 
treasure flowed into the land. They built 
the first stone houses, and domestic archi- 
tecture was created. Jewish gold built Cas- 
tles and Cathedrals, and awoke the slumber- 
ing sense of beauty. Through their connec- 
tion with the Jews in Spain and the East, 
knowledge of the physical sciences also 
streamed into the land, and an intellectual 
life was created, which bore fruit a century 
and a half later in Eoger Bacon. 

All these things were not done in a day. 
It was twenty years after the Conquest that 
William ordered a survey and -valuation of 
all the land, which was recorded in what 
was known as "Domesday Book," that he 


might know the precise financial resources 
of his kingdom, and what was due him on 
the confiscated estates. Then he summoned 
all the nobles and large landholders to meet 
him at Salisbury Plain, and those shapeless 
blocks at " Stonehenge" witnessed a strange 
scene when 60,000 men there took solemn 
oath to support William as King even 
against their own lords. With this splen- 
did consummation his work was practically 
finished. He had, with supreme dexterity 
and wisdom, blended two Civilizations, had 
at the right moment curbed the destructive 
element in feudalism, and had secured to 
the Englishman free access to the surface 
for all time. Thus the old English freedom 
was in fact restored by the Norman Con- 
quest, by direct act of the Conqueror. 

William typified in his person a transi- 
tional time, the old Norse world, mingling 
strangely in him with the new. He was 
the last outcome of his race. Norse daring 
and cruelty were side by side with gentle- 
ness and aspiration. No human pity tem- 
pered his vengeance. W^hen hides were 
hung on the City Walls at Alengon, in insult 


to his mother (the daughter of a tanner), he 
tore out the eyes, cut off the hands and feet 
of the prisoners, and threw them over the 
walls. When he did this, and when he 
refused Harold's body a grave, it was the 
spirit of the sea- wolves within him. But it 
was the man of the coming Civilization, who 
could not endure death by process of law in 
his Kingdom, and who delighted to discourse 
with the gentle and pious Anselm, upon the 
mysteries of life and death. 

The indirect benefits of the Conquest, 
came in enriching streams from the older 
civilizations. As Eome had been heir to 
the accumulations of experience in the an- 
cient Nations, so England, through France 
became the heir to Latin institutions, and 
was joined to the great continuous stream 
of the World's highest development. Fresh 
intellectual stimulus renovated the Church. 
Boman law was planted upon the simple 
Teuton system of rights. Every depart- 
ment in State and in Society shared the ad- 
vance, while language became refined, flex- 
ible, and enriched. 

This engrafting with the results of an- 


tiquity, was an enormous saving of time, in 
the development of a nation ; but it did not 
change the essential character of the Anglo- 
Saxon, nor of his speech. The ravenous 
Teuton could devour and assimilate all these 
new elements and remain essentially un- 
changed. The language of Bunyan and of the 
Bible is Saxon ; and it is the language of the 
Englishman to-day in childhood and in ex- 
tremity. A man who is thoroughly in 
earnest — who is drowning — speaks Saxon. 
Character, as much as speech, remains un- 
altered. There is small trace of the Nor- 
man in the House of Commons, or in the 
meetings at Exeter Hall, or in the home, or 
life of the people anywhere. 

The qualities which have made England 
great were brought across the North Sea in 
those "keels" in the 5th Century. The 
Anglo-Saxon put on the new civilization and 
institutions brought him by the Conquest, as 
he would an embroidered garment ; but the 
man within the garment, though modified by 
civilization, has never essentially changed. 


It is not in the exploits of its Kings but 
in the aspirations and struggles of its people, 
that the true history of a nation is to be 
sought. During the rule and misrule of the 
two sons, and grandson, of the Conqueror, 
England was steadily growing toward its 
ultimate form. 

As Society outgrew the simple ties of 
blood which bound it together in old Saxon 
England, the people had sought a larger 
protection in combinations among fellow 
freemen, based upon identity of occupation. 

The " Frith-Gilds, " or peace Clubs, came 
into existence in Europe during the 9th and 
10th Centuries. They were harshly repressed 
in Germany and Gaul, but found kindly 
welcome from Alfred in England. In their 
mutual responsibility, in their motto, " if any 
misdo, let all bear it," Alfred saw simply 


an enlarged conception of the "family" 
which was the basis of the Saxon social 
structure ; and the adoption of this idea of a 
larger unity, in combination, was one of the 
first phases of an expanding national life. 
So, after the conquest, while ambitious 
kings were absorbing French and Irish ter- 
ritory or fighting with recalcitrant barons, 
the merchant, craft, and church "gilds" 
were creating a great popular force, which 
was to accomplish more enduring conquests. 

It was in the "boroughs" and in these 
"gilds" that the true life of the nation con- 
sisted. It was the shopkeepers and ar- 
tisans which brought the right of free 
speech, and free meeting, and of equal jus- 
tice across the ages of tyranny. One free- 
dom after another was being won, and the 
battle with oppression was being fought, not 
by Knights and Barons, but by the sturdy 
burghers and craftsmen. Silently as the 
coral insect, the Anglo-Saxon was building 
an indestructible foundation for English 

The Conqueror had bequeathed England 
to his second son, William Eufus, and Nor- 


mandy to his eldest son, Eobert. In 1095 
(eight years after his death) commenced 
those extraordinary wars carried on by the 
chivalry of Europe against the Saracens in 
the East. Robert, in order to raise money 
to join the first crusade, mortgaged Nor- 
mandy to his brother, and an absorption of 
Western France had begun, which, by means 
of conquest by arms and the more peaceful 
conquest by marriage, would in fifty years 
extend English dominion from the Scottish 
border to the Pyrenees. 

William's son Henry (I.), who succeeded 
his older brother, William Rufus, inherited 
enough of his father's administrative genius 
to complete the details of government which 
he had outlined. He organized the begin- 
ning of a judicial system, creating out of his 
secretaries and Royal Ministers a Supreme 
Court, whose head bore the title of Chancel- 
lor. He created also another tribunal, which 
represented the body of royal vassals who 
had all hitherto been summoned together 
three times a year. This "King's Court,'' 
as it was called, considered everything re- 
lating to the revenues of the state. Its 


meetings were about a table with a top like 
a chessboard, which led to calling the mem- 
bers who sat, "Barons of the Exchequer." 
He also wisely created a class of lesser 
nobles, upon whom the old barons looked 
down with scorn, but who served as a coun- 
terbalancing force against the arrogance of 
an old nobility, and bridged the distance 
between them and the people. 

So, while the thirty-five years of Henry's 
reign advanced and developed the purposes 
of his father, his marriage with a Saxon 
Princess did much to efface the memory of 
foreign conquest, in restoring the old Saxon 
blood to the royal line. But the young 
Prince who embodied this hope, went down 
with 140 young nobles in the "White Ship," 
while returning from Normandy. It is said 
that his father never smiled again, and 
upon his death, his nephew Stephen was 
king during twenty unfruitful years. 

But the succession returned through Ma- 
tilda, daughter of Henry I. and the Saxon 
princess. She married Geoffrey, Count of 
Anjou. This Geoffrey, called "the hand- 
some," always wore in his helmet a sprig of 

44 A sj:^::t irisTi of England. 

the broom-plant of Anjou (Planta genista), 
hence their son, Henry II. of England, was 
known as Henry Plante-a-genet. 

This first Plantagenet was a strong, coarse- 
fibred man; a practical reformer, without 
sentiment, but really having good govern- 
ment profoundly at heart. 

He took the reins into his great, rough 
hands with a determination first of all to 
curb the growing power of the clergy, by 
bringing it under the jurisdiction of the 
civil courts. To this end he created his 
friend and chancellor, Thomas a Becket, a 
primate of the Church to aid the accomplish- 
ment of his purpose. But from the moment 
Becket became Archbishop of Canterbury, he 
was transformed into the defender of the 
organization he was intended to subdue. 
Henry was furious when he found himself 
resisted and confronted by the very man he 
had created as an instrument of his will. 
These were years of conflict. At last, in a 
moment of exasperation, the king exclaimed, 
" Is there none brave enough to rid me of 
this low-born priest !" This was construed 
into a command. Four knights sped swiftly 


to Canterbury Cathedral, and murdered the 
Archbishop at the altar. Henry was stricken 
with remorse, and caused himself to be beaten 
with rods like the vilest criminal, kneeling 
upon the spot stained with the blood of his 
friend. It was a brutal murder, which caused 
a thrill of horror throughout Christendom. 
Becket was canonized; miracles were per- 
formed at his tomb, and for hundreds of 
years a stream of bruised humanity flowed 
into Canterbury, seeking surcease of sorrow, 
and cure for sickness and disease, by contact 
with the bones of the murdered saint. 

But Henry had accomplished his end. 
The clergy was under the jurisdiction of 
the King's Court during his reign. He also 
continued the judicial reorganization com- 
menced by Henry I. He divided the king- 
,_ dom into judicial districts. This completely 
effaced the legal jurisdiction of the nobles. 
The Circuits thus defined correspond roughly 
with those existing to-day; and from the 
Court of Appeals, which was also his crea- 
tion, came into existence tribunal after tri- 
bunal in the future, including the "Star 
Chamber" and " Privy Council." 


But of all the blows aimed at the barons 
none told more effectually than the restora- 
tion of a national militia, which freed the 
crown from dependence upon feudal retain- 
ers for military service. 

In a fierce quarrel between two Irish chief- 
tains, Henry was called upon to interfere; 
and when the quarrel was adjusted, Ireland 
found herself annexed to the English crown, 
and ruled by a viceroy appointed by the 
king. The drama of the Saxons defending 
the Britons from the Picts and Scots, was 

This first Plantagenet, with fiery face, 
bull-neck, bowed legs, keen, rough, obsti- 
nate, passionate, left England greater and 
freer, and yet w T ith more of a personal des- 
potism than he had found her. The trouble 
with such triumphs is that they presuppose 
the wisdom and goodness of succeeding 

Henry's heart broke when he learned that 
his favorite son, John, was conspiring against 
him. He turned his face to the wall and 
died (1189), the practical hard-headed old 
king leaving his throne to a romantic 


dreamer, who could not even speak the lan- 
guage of his country. 

Kichard (Cceur de Lion) was a hero of ro- 
mance, but not of history. The practical 
concerns of his kingdom had no charm for 
him. His eye was fixed upon Jerusalem, 
not England, and he spent almost the entire 
ten years of his reign in the Holy Land. 

The Crusades, had fired the old spirit of 
Norse adventure left by the Danes, and 
England shared the general madness of the 
time. As a result for the treasure spent 
and blood spilled in Palestine, she received 
a few architectural devices and the science of 
Heraldry. But to Europe, the benefits were 
incalculable. The barons were impover- 
ished, their great estates mortgaged to thrifty 
burghers, who extorted from their poverty 
charters of freedom, which unlocked the 
fetters and broke the spell of the dark ages. 

Eichard the Lion-Hearted died as he had 
lived, not as a king, but as a romantic ad- 
venturer. He was shot by an arrow while 
trying to secure fabulous hidden treasure in 
France, with which to continue his wars in 


His brother John, in 1199, ascended the 
throne. His name has come down as a 
type of baseness, cruelty, and treachery. 
His brother Geoffrey had married Constance 
of Brittany, and their son Arthur, named 
after the Keltic hero, had been urged as a 
rival claimant for the English throne. 
Shakespeare has not exaggerated the cruel 
fate of this boy, whose monstrous uncle 
really purposed having his eyes burnt out, 
being sure that if he were blind he would 
no longer be eligible for king. But death 
is surer even than blindness, and Hubert, his 
merciful protector from one fate, was power- 
less to avert the other. Some one was found 
with "heart as hard as hammered iron," 
who put an end to the young life (1203) 
at the Castle of Rouen. 

But the King of England, was vassal to the 
King of France, and Philip summoned John 
to account to him for this deed. When 
John refused to appear, the French provinces 
were torn from him. In 1204 he saw an Em- 
pire stretching from the English Channel to 
the Pyrenees vanish from his grasp, and was 
at one blow reduced to the realrn of England. 


When we see on the map, England as she 
was in that day, sprawling in unwieldy 
fashion over the western half of France, we 
realize how much stronger she has been on 
"that snug little island, that right little, 
tight little island," and we can see that 
John's wickedness helped her to be invin- 

The destinies of England in fact rested 
with her worst king. His tyranny, brutal- 
ity, and disregard of his subjects' rights, in- 
duced a crisis which laid the corner-stone of 
England's future, and buttressed her liber- 
ties for all time. 

At a similar crisis in France, two centu- 
ries later, the king (Charles VII.) made com- 
mon cause with the people against the barons 
or dukes. In England, in the 13th Century, 
the barons and people were drawn together 
against the King. They framed a Charter, 
its provisions securing protection and justice 
to every freeman in England. . On Easter 
Day, 1215, the barons, attended by two 
thousand armed knights, met the King near 
Oxford, and demanded his signature to the 
paper. John was awed, and asked them to 


name a day and place. "Let the day be the 
15th of June, and the place Kunnymede," 
was the reply. 

A brown, shrivelled piece of parchment in 
the British Museum to-day, attests to the 
keeping of this appointment. That old Oak 
at Eunnymede, under whose spreading 
branches the name of John was affixed to 
the Magna Charta, was for centuries held 
the most sacred spot in England. 

It is an impressive picture we get of 
John, "the Lord's Anointed," when this 
scene was over, in a burst of rage rolling on 
the floor, biting straw, and gnawing a stick! 
"They have placed twenty-five kings over 
me," he shouted in a fury; meaning the 
twenty-five barons who were entrusted with 
the duty of seeing that the provisions of the 
Charter were fulfilled. 

Whether his death, one year later (1216), 
was the result of vexation of spirit or surfeit 
of peaches and cider, or poison, history does 
not positively say. But England shed no 
tears for the King to whom she owes her 
liberties in the Magna Charta. 


For the succeeding 56 years John's son, 
Henry III., was King of England. While 
this vain, irresolute, ostentatious king was 
extorting money for his ambitious designs 
and extravagant pleasures, and struggling 
to get back the pledges given in the Great 
Charter, new and higher forces, to which 
he gave no heed, were at work in his 

Paris at this time was the centre of a 
great intellectual revival, brought about by 
the Crusades. We have seen that through 
the despised Jew, at the time of the Con- 
quest, a higher civilization was brought into 
England. Along with his hoarded gold 
came knowledge and culture, which he had 
obtained from the Saracen. Now, these 
germs had been revived by direct contact 
w'ch the sources of ancient knowledge in 


the East during the Crusade ; and while the 
long mental torpor of Europe was rolling 
away like mist before the rising sun, Eng- 
land felt the warmth of the same quicken- 
ing rays, and Oxford took on a new life. 

It was not the stately Oxford of to-day, 
but a rabble of roystering, revelling youths, 
English, Welsh, and Scotch, who fiercely 
fought out their fathers' feuds. 

They were a turbulent mob, who gave ad- 
vance opinion, as it were, upon every eccle- 
siastical or political measure, by fighting it 
out on the streets of their town, so that an 
outbreak at Oxford became a sort of prelude 
to every great political movement. 

Impossible as it seems, intellectual life 
grew and expanded in this tumultuous at- 
mosphere; and while the democratic spirit 
of the University threatened the king, its 
spirit of free intellectual inquiry shook the 

The revival of classical learning, bring- 
ing streams of thought from old Greek and 
Latin fountains, caused a sudden expansion. 
It was like the discovery of an unsuspected 
and greater world, with a body of new truth, 


which threw the old into contemptuous dis- 
use. A spirit of doubt, scepticism, and de- 
nial, was engendered. They comprehended 
now why Abelard had claimed the "su- 
premacy of reason over faith," and why 
Italian poets smiled at dreams of " immor- 
tality." Then, too, the new culture com- 
pelled respect for infidel and for Jew. Was 
it not from their impious hands, that this 
new knowledge of the physical universe had 
been received? 

Eoger Bacon drank deeply from these 
fountains, new and old, and struggled like 
a giant to illumine the darkness of his time, 
by systematizing all existing knowledge. 
His "Opus Majus" was intended to bring 
these riches to the unlearned. But he died 
uncomprehended, and it was reserved for 
later ages to give recognition to his stupen- 
dous work, wrought in the twilight out of 
dimly comprehended truth. 

Pursued by the dream of recovering the 
French Empire, lost by his father, and of re- 
tracting the promises given in the Charter, 
Henry III. spent his entire reign in conflict 
with the barons and t*he people, who were 


closely drawn together by the common dan- 
ger and rallied to the defence of their liberties 
under the leadership of Simon de Montfort. 

It was at the town of Oxford that the 
great council of barons and bishops held its 
meetings. This council, which had long 
been called "Parliament" (from parler^^ in 
the year 1265 became for the first time a 
representative body, when Simon de Mont- 
fort summoned not alone the lords and 
bishops — but two citizens from every city, 
and two burghers from every borough. A 
Rubicon was passed when the merchant, and 
the shopkeeper, sat for the first time with 
the noble and the bishops in the great 
council. It was thirty years before the 
change was fully effected, it being in the 
year 1295, a little more than 600 years ago, 
that the first true Parliament met. But the 
" House of Lords " and the germ of the 
" House of Commons," existed in this as- 
sembly at Oxford in 1265, and a govern- 
ment " of the people, for the people, by the 
people," had commenced. 

Edward I., the son and successor of 
Henry III., not only graciously confirmed 


the Great Charter, but added to its privi- 
leges. His expulsion of the Jews, is the one 
dark blot on his reign. 

He conquered North Wales, the strong- 
hold where those Keltic Britons, the Welsh, 
had always maintained a separate exist- 
ence ; and as a recompense for their wounded 
feelings bestowed upon the heir to the 
throne, the title "Prince of Wales." 

Westminster Abbey was completed at 
this time and began to be the resting-place 
for England's illustrious dead. The inven- 
tion of gunpowder, which was to make iron- 
clad knights a romantic tradition, also be- 
longs 1,0 this period, which saw too, the con- 
quest of Scotland, and the magic stone sup- 
posed to have been Jacob's pillow at Bethel, 
and which was the Scottish talisman, was 
carried to "Westminster Abbey and built 
into a coronation-chair, which has been used 
at the crowning of every English sovereign 
since that time. 

Scottish liberties were not so sacrificed by 
this conquest as had been the Irish. The 
Scots would not be slaves, nor would they 
stay conquered without many a struggle. 


Kobert Bruce led a great rebellion, which 
extended into the succeeding reign, and 
Bruce's name was covered with glory by his 
great victory at Bannockburn (1314). 

We need not linger over the twenty years 
during which Edward II., by his private in- 
famies, so exasperated his wife and son that 
they brought about his deposition, which 
was followed soon after by his murder; and 
then by a disgraceful regency, during which 
the Queen's favorite, Mortimer, was virtu- 
ally king. But King Edward III. com- 
menced to rule with a strong hand. As 
soon as he was eighteen years old he sum- 
moned the Parliament. Mortimer was 
hanged at Tyburn, and his queen-mother 
was immured for life. 

We have turned our backs upon Old Eng- 
land. The England of a representative 
Parliament and a House of Commons, of 
ideals derived from a wider knowledge, the 
England of a Westminster Abbey, and gun- 
powder, and cloth -weaving, is the England 
we all know to-day. Vicious kings and 
greed of territory, and lust of power, will 
keep the road from beiijf a sonooth one, 


but it leads direct to the England of Ed- 
ward VII. ; and 1906 was roughly outlined 
in 1327, when Edward III. grasped the 
helm with the decision of a master. 

After completing the subjection of Scot- 
land he invaded France, — the pretext of 
resisting her designs upon the Netherlands, 
being merely a cover for his own thirst for 
territory and conquest. The victory over 
the French at Crecy, 1316, (and later of Poi- 
tiers,) covered the warlike king and his son, 
Edward the "Black Prince," with imperish- 
able renown. Small cannon were first used 
at that battle. The knights and the archers 
laughed at the little toy, but found it use- 
ful in frightening the enemies' horses. 

Edward III. covered England with a 
mantle of military glory, for which she had 
to pay dearly later. He elevated the king- 
ship to a more dazzling height, for which 
there have also been some expensive reckon- 
ings since. He introduced a new and higher 
dignity into nobility by the title of Duke, 
which he bestowed upon his sons ; the great 
landholders or barons, having until that time 
constituted a body in which all were peers. 


He has been the idol of heroic England. 
But he awoke the dream of French con- 
quest, and bequeathed to his successors a 
fatal war, which lasted for 100 years. 

The "Black Prince" died, and the "Black 
Death," a fearful pestilence, desolated a 
land already decimated by protracted wars. 
The valiant old King, after a life of brilliant 
triumphs, carried a sad and broken heart to 
the grave, and Eichard II., son of the beroic 
Prince Edward, was king. 

This last of the Plantagenets had need of 
great strength and wisdom to cope with the 
forces stirring at that time in his kingdom, 
and was singularly deficient in both. The 
costly conquests of his grandfather, were a 
troublesome legacy to his feeble grandson. 
Enormous taxes unjustly levied to pay for 
past glories, do not improve the temper of a 
people. A shifting of the burden from one 
class to another arrayed all in antagonisms 
against each other, and finally, when the bur- 
den fell upon the lowest order, as it is apt 
to do, it rose in fierce rebellion under the 
leadership of Wat Tyler, a blacksmith (1381). 

Concessions were granted and quiet re- 


stored, but the people had learned a new way 
of throwing off injustice. There began to 
be a new sentiment in the air. Men were 
asking why the few should dress in velvet 
and the many in rags. It was the first 
English revolt against the tyranny of wealth, 
when peo].)le were heard on the streets sing- 
ing the couplet — 

"When Adam delved and Eve span, 
Who was then the gentleman'?" 

As in the times of the early Saxon kings, 
the cause breeding destruction was the wid- 
ening distance between the king and the 
people. In those earlier times the people 
unresistingly lapsed into decadence, but the 
Anglo-Saxon had learned much since then, 
and it was not so safe to degrade him and 
trample on his rights. 

Then, too, John Wickliffe had been telling 
some very plain truths to the people about 
the Church of Eome, and there was develop- 
ing a sentiment which made Pope and Clergy 
tremble. There was a spirit of inquiry, 
having its centre at Oxford, looking into 
the title-deeds of the great ecclesiastical 


despotism. Wickliffe heretically claimed 
that the Bible was the one ground of faith, 
and he added to his heresy by translating 
that Book into simple Saxon English, that 
men might learn for themselves what was 
Christ's message to man. 

Luther's protest in the 16th Century was 
but the echo of Wickliffe's in the 14th, — 
against the tyranny of a Church from which 
all spiritual life had departed, and which in 
its decay tightened its grasp upon the very 
things which its founder put "behind Him" 
in the temptation on the mountain, and 
aimed at becoming a temporal despotism. 

Closely intermingled with these struggles 
was going on another, unobserved at the 
time. Three languages held sway in Eng- 
land — Latin in the Church, French in polite 
society, and English among the people. 
Chaucer's genius selected the language of 
the people for its expression, as also of course, 
did Wickliffe in his translation of the Bible. 
French and Latin were dethroned, and the 
"King's English" became the language of 
the literature and speech of the English 


He would have been a wise and great 
King who could have comprehended and 
controlled all the various forces at work at 
this time. Eichard II. was neither. This 
seething, tumbling mass of popular discon- 
tents was besides only the groundwork for 
the personal strifes and ambitions which 
raged about the throne. The wretched King, 
embroiled with every class and every party, 
was pronounced by Parliament unfit to 
reign, the same body which deposed him, 
giving the crown to his cousin Henry of 
Lancaster (1399), and the reign of the Plan- 
tagenets was ended. 


The new king did not inherit the throne ; 
he was elected to it. He was an arbitrary 
creation of Parliament. The Duke of Lan- 
caster, Henry's father (John of Gaunt), was 
only a younger son of Edward III. Accord- 
ing to the strict rules of hereditary succes- 
sion, there were two others with claims su- 
perior to Henry's. Richard Duke of York, 
his cousin, claimed a double descent from 
the Duke Clarence and also from the Duke 
of York, both sons of Edward III. 

This led later to the dreariest chapter in 
English history, "the Wars of the Roses. " 

It is an indication of the enormous in- 
crease in the strength of Parliament, that 
such an exercise of power, the creating of 
a king, was possible. Haughty, arrogant 
kings bowed submissively to its will. 
Henry could not make laws nor impose 


taxes without first summoning Parliament 
and obtaining his subjects' consent. But cor- 
rupting influences were at work which were 
destined to cheat England out of her liber- 
ties for many a year. 

The impoverishment of the country to pay 
for war and royal extravagances, had awak- 
ened a troublesome spirit in the House of 
Commons. Cruelty to heretics also, and op- 
pressive enactments were fought and de- 
feated in this body. The King, clergy, and 
nobles, were drawing closer together and 
farther away from the people, and were 
devising ways of stifling their will. 

If the King might not resist the will of 
Parliament, he could fill it with men who 
would not resist his; so, by a system of 
bribery and force in the boroughs, the 
House of Commons had injected into it 
enough of the right sort to carry obnoxious 
measures. This was only one of the ways 
in which the dearly bought liberties were 
being defeated. 

Henry IV., the first Lancastrian king, 
lighted the fires of persecution in England. 
The infamous "Statute of Heresy" was 


passed 1401. Its first victim was a priest 
who was thrown to the flames for denying 
the doctrine of transubstantiation. 

Wickliff e had left to the people not a party, 
hut a sentiment. The "Lollards," as they 
were called, were not an organization, but 
rather a pervading atmosphere of revolt, 
which naturally combined with the social 
discontent of the time, and there came to be 
more of hate than love in the movement, 
which was at its foundation a revolt against 
inequality of condition. As in all such move- 
ments, much that was vicious and unwise 
in time mingled with it, tending to give 
some excuse for its repression. The dis- 
carding of an old faith, unless at once re- 
placed by a new one, is a time fraught with 
many dangers to Society and State. 

Such were some of the forces at work for 
fourteen brief years while Henry IV. wore 
the coveted crown, and while his son, the 
roystering "Prince Hal," in the new charac- 
ter of King (Henry V.) lived out his brief 
nine years of glory and conquest. 

France, with an insane King, vicious 
Queen Regent, and torn by the dissensions 


of ambitious Dukes, had reached her hour 
of greatest weakness, when Henry V. swept 
down upon her with his archers, and broke 
her spirit by his splendid victory at Agin* 
court; then married her Princess Kath- 
arine, and was proclaimed Eegent of France, 
The rough wooing of his French bride, im- 
mortalized by Shakespeare, throws a gla- 
mour of romance over the time. 

But an all - subduing King cut short 
Henry's triumphs. He was stricken and 
died (1422), leaving an infant son nine 
months old, who bore the weight of the 
new title, "King of England and France," 
while Henry's brother, the Duke of Bed- 
ford, reigned as Eegent. 

Then it was, that by a mysterious inspi- 
ration, Joan of Arc, a child and a peasant, 
led the French army to the besieged City 
of Orleans, and the crucial battle was 

Charles VII. was King. The English 
were driven out of France, and the Hundred 
Years' War ended in defeat (1453). Eng- 
land had lost Aquitaine, which for two hun- 
dred years (since Henry II.) had been hers, 


and had not a foot of ground on Gorman 

The long shadow cast by Edward III. 
upon England was deepening. A ruinous 
war had drained her resources and arrested 
her liberties ; and now the odium of defeat 
made the burdens it imposed intolerable. 
The temper of every class was strained to 
the danger point. The wretched govern- 
ment was held responsible, followed, as 
usual, by impeachments, murders, and im- 
potent outbursts of fury. 

While, owing to social processes long at 
work, feudalism was in fact a ruin, a mere 
empty shell, it still seemed powerful as ever ; 
just as an oak, long after its roots are dead, 
will still carry aloft a waving mass of green 
leafage. The great Earl of Warwick when 
he went to Parliament was still followed 
by 600 liveried retainers. But when Jack 
Cade led 20,000 men in rebellion at the close 
of the French war, they were not the serfs 
and villeinage of other times, but farmers 
and laborers, who, when they demanded a 
more economical expenditure of royal rev- 
enue, freedom at elections, and the removal 



of restrictions on their dress and living, 
knew their rights, and were not going to 
give them up without a struggle. 

But the madness of personal ambition was 
going to work deeper ruin and more com- 
plete wreck of England's fortunes. We 
have seen that by the interposition of Par- 
liament, the House of Lancaster had been 
placed on the throne contrary to the tradi- 
tion which gave the succession to the oldest 
branch, which Richard, the Duke of York, 
claimed to represent ; his claim strengthened 
by a double descent from Edward III. 
through his two sons, Lionel and Edward. 

For twenty-one years, (1450-1471) these 
descendants of Edward III. were engaged 
in the most savage war, for purely selfish 
and personal ends, with not one noble or 
chivalric element to redeem the disgraceful 
exhibition of human nature at its worst. 
Murders, executions, treacheries, adorn a 
network of intrigue and villany, which was 
enough to have made the " White" and the 
"Red Rose" forever hateful to English eyes. 

The great Earl of Warwick led the White 
Rose of York to victory, sending the Lan- 


castrian King to the tower, his wife and 
child fugitives from the Kingdom, and pro- 
claimed Edward, (son of Richard Duke of 
York, the original claimant, who had been 
slain in the conflict), King of England. 

Then, with an unscrupulousness worthy 
of the time and the cause, Warwick opened 
communication with the fugitive Queen, of- 
fering her his services, betrothed his daugh- 
ter to the young Edward, Prince of Wales, 
took up the red Lancastrian rose from the 
dust of defeat, — brought the captive he had 
sent to the tower back to his throne — only 
to see him once more dragged down again 
by the Yorkists — and for the last time re- 
turned to captivity ; leaving his wife a pris- 
oner and his young son dead at Tewksbury, 
stabbed by Yorkist lords. Henry VI. died 
in the Tower, " mysteriously," as did all the 
deposed and imprisoned Kings; Warwick 
was slain in battle, and with Edward IV. 
the reign of the House of York commenced. 

Such in brief is the story of the " Wars 
of the Roses''' and of the Earl of Warwick, 
the "King Maker" 

At the close of the Wars of the Roses, 


feudalism was a ruin. The oak with its 
dead roots had been prostrated by the 
storm. The imposing system had wrought 
its own destruction. Eighty Princes of the 
blood royal had perished, and more than half 
of the Nobility had died on the field or the 
scaffold, or were fugitives in foreign lands. 
The great Duke of Exeter, brother-in-law 
to a King, was seen barefoot begging bread 
from door to door. 

By the confiscation of one-fifth of the 
landed estate of the Kingdom, vast wealth 
poured into the King's treasury. He had 
no need now to summon Parliament to vote 
him supplies. The clergy, rendered feeble 
and lifeless from decline in spiritual enthu- 
siasm, and by its blind hostility to the intel- 
lectual movement of the time, crept closer 
to the throne, while Parliament, with its 
partially disfranchised House of Commons, 
was so rarely summoned that it almost 
ceased to exist. In the midst of the general 
wreck, the Kingship towered in solitary 

Edward IV. was absolute sovereign. He 
had no one to fear, unless it was his in- 

;o A SI r III: D. 

trigning brother Eichard, Duke of Glouces- 
ter, who, during the twenty-three years of 
Edward's reign, was undoubtedly carefully 
planning the bloodstained steps by which 
he himself should reach the throne. 

Acute in intelligence, distorted in form 
and in character, this Eichard was a mon- 
ster of iniquity. The hapless boy left heir 
to the throne upon the death of Edward 
IV., his father, was placed under the guar- 
dianship of his misshapen uncle, who until 
the majority of the young King, Edward 
V., was to reign under the title of Protec- 

How this "Protector" protected his neph- 
ews all know. The two boys (Edward V. 
and Eichard, Duke of York) were carried to 
the Tower. The world has been reluctant to 
believe that they were really smothered, as 
has been said; but the finding, nearly two 
hundred years later, of the skeletons of two 
children which had been buried or concealed 
at the foot of the stairs leading to their 
place of confinement, seems to confirm it 
beyond a doubt, 

Eetribution came swiftly. Two years 


later Richard fell at the battle of Bosworth 
Field, and the crown won by numberless 
crimes, rolled under a hawthorn bush. It 
was picked up and placed upon a worthier 

Henry Tudor, an offshoot of the House of 
Lancaster, was proclaimed King Henr}?- VII., 
and his marriage with Princess Elizabeth of 
York (sister of the princes murdered in the 
Tower) forever blended the White and ■ the 
Red Rose in peaceful union. 

During all this time, while Kings came 
and Kings went, the people viewed these 
changes from afar. But if they had no 
longer any share in the government, a great 
expansion was going on in their inner life. 
Caxton had set up his printing press, and 
the "art preservative of all arts," was bring- 
ing streams of new knowledge into thou- 
sands of homes. Copernicus had discovered 
a new Heaven, and Columbus a new Earth. 
The sun no longer circled around the Earth, 
nor was the Earth a flat plain. There was 
a revival of classic learning at Oxford, and 
Erasmus, the great preacher, was founding 
schools and preparing the minds of the peo- 


pie for the impending change, which was 
soon to be wrought by that Monk in Ger- 
many, whose soul was at this time begin- 
ning to be stirred to its mighty effort at 


When in the year 1509 a handsome youth 
of eighteen came to the throne, the hopes 
of England ran high. His intelligence, his 
frank, genial manners, his sympathy with 
the "new learning," won all classes. Eras- 
mus in his hopes of purifying the Church, 
and Sir Thomas More in his "Utopian" 
dreams for politics and society, felt that a 
friend had come to the throne in the young 
Henry VIII. 

Spain had become great through a union 
of the rival Kingdoms Castile and Aragon ; 
so a marriage with the Princess Katharine, 
daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, had 
been arranged for the young Prince Henry, 
who had quietly accepted for his Queen his 
brother's widow, six years his senior. 

France under Francis I. had risen into a 
state no less imposing than Spain, and 


Henry began to be stirred with an ambition 
to take part in the drama of events going on 
upon the greater stage, across the Channel. 
The old dream of French conquest returned. 
Francis I. and Charles V. of Germany had 
commenced their struggle for supremacy in 
Europe. Henry's ambition was fostered by 
their vying with each other to secure his 
friendship. He was soon launched in a 
deep game of diplomacy, in which three in- 
triguing Sovereigns were striving each to 
outwit the others. 

What Henry lacked in experience and 
craft was supplied by his Chancellor Wol- 
sey, whose private and personal ambition 
to reach the Papal Chair was dexterously 
mingled with the royal game. The game 
was dazzling and absorbing, but it was 
unexpectedly interrupted; and the golden 
dreams of Erasmus and More, of a slow and 
orderly development in England through an 
expanding intelligence, were rudely shaken. 

Martin Luther audaciously nailed on the 
door of the Church at Wittenberg a protest 
against the selling of papal indulgences, and 
the pent-up hopes, griefs and despair of 


centuries burst into a storm which shook 
Europe to its centre. 

Since England had joined in the great 
game of European politics, she had ad- 
vanced from being a third-rate power to the 
front rank among nations ; so it was with 
great satisfaction that Catholic Europe 
heard Henry VIII. denounce the new Eefor- 
mation, which had swiftly assumed alarm- 
ing proportions. 

But a woman's eyes were to change all 
this. As Henry looked into the fair face of 
Anne Boleyn, his conscience began to be 
stirred over his marriage with his brother's 
widow, Katharine. He confided his scruples 
to Wolsey, who promised to use his efforts 
with the Pope to secure a divorce from 
Katharine. But this lady was aunt to 
Charles V., the great Champion of the 
Church in its fight with Protestantism. It 
would never do to alienate him. So the 
divorce was refused. 

Henry VIII. was not as flexible and ami- 
able now as the youth of eighteen had 
been. He defied the Pope, married Anne 
(1533), and sent his Minister into disgrace 


for not serving him more effectually. 
"There was the weight which pulled me 
down," said Wolsey of Anne, and death 
from a broken heart mercifully saved the 
old man from the scaffold he would cer- 
tainly have reached. 

The legion of demons which had been 
slumbering in the King were awakened. 
He would break no law, but he would bend 
the law to his will. He commanded a 
trembling Parliament to pass an act sus- 
taining his marriage with Anne. Another 
permitting him to name his successor, and 
then another — making him supreme head of 
the Church in England. The Pope was for- 
ever dethroned in his Kingdom, and Prot- 
estantism had achieved a bloodstained 

Henry alone could judge what was ortho- 
doxy and what heresy ; but to disagree with 
him, was death. Traitor and heretic went 
to the scaffold in the same hurdle ; the Cath- 
olic who denied the King's supremacy rid- 
ing side by side with the Protestant who 
denied transubstantiation. The Protestant- 
ism of this great convert was political, not 


religious ; he despised the doctrines of Lu- 
theranism, and it was dangerous to "believe 
too much and equally dangerous to believe 
too little. Heads dropped like leaves in the 
forest, and in three years the Queen who 
had overturned England and almost Europe, 
was herself carried to the scaffold (1536). 

It was in truth a " Eeign of Terror" by an 
absolutism standing upon the ruin of every 
rival. The power of the Barons had gone; 
the Clergy were panic-stricken, and Parlia- 
ment was a servant, which arose and bowed 
humbly to his vacant throne at mention of 
his name! A member for whom he had 
sent knelt trembling one day before him. 
"Get my bill passed to-morrow, my little 
man," said the King, "or to-morrow, this 
head of yours will be off." The next day 
the bill passed, and millions of Church 
property was confiscated, to be thrown away 
in gambling, or to enrich the adherents of 
the King. 

Thomas Cromwell, who had succeeded to 
Wolsey's vacant place, was his efficient in- 
strument. This student of Machiavelli's 
"Prince," without passion or hate, pity or 


regret, marked men for destruction, as a 
woodman does tall trees, the highest and 
proudest names in the Kingdom being set 
down in his little notebook under the head 
of either " Heresy " or " Treason." Sir 
Thomas More, one of the wisest and best 
of men, would not say he thought the mar- 
riage with Katharine had been unlawful, 
and paid his head as the price of his fearless 

Jane Seymour, whom Henry married the 
day after Anne Boleyn's execution, died 
within a year at the birth of a son (Edward 
VI.). In 1540 Cromwell arranged another 
union with the plainest woman in Europe, 
Anne of Cleves; which proved so distasteful 
to Henry that he speedily divorced her, and 
in resentment at Cromwell's having en- 
trapped him, by a flattering portrait drawn 
bv Holbein, the Minister came under his 
displeasure, which at that time meant 
death. He was beheaded in 1540, and in 
that same year occurred the King's marriage 
with Katharine Howard, who one year later 
met the same fate as Anne Boleyn. 

Katharine Parr, the sixth and last wife, 


and an ardent Protestant and reformer, also 
narrowly escaped, and would undoubtedly 
at last have gone to the block. But Henry, 
who at fifty-six was infirm and wrecked in 
health, died in the year 1547, the signing of 
death-warrants being his occupation to the 
very end. 

Whatever his motive, Henry VIII. had in 
making her Protestant, placed England 
firmly in the line of the world's highest 
progress; and strange to say, that Kingdom 
is most indebted to two of her worst 

The crown passed to the son of Jane Sey- 
mour, Edward VI., a feeble boy of ten. In 
view of the doubtful validity of his father's 
divorce, and the consequent doubt cast upon 
the legitimacy of Edward's two sisters, Mary 
and Elizabeth, the young king was per- 
suaded to name his cousin Lady Jane Grey 
as his heir and successor. This gentle girl 
of seventeen, sensitive and thoughtful, a 
devout reformer, who read Greek and He- 
brew and wrote Latin poetry, is a pathetic 
figure in history, where we see her, the un- 
willing wearer of a crown for ten days, and 


then with her young husband hurried to that 
fatal Tower, and to death. Upon the death of 
Edward this unhappy child was proclaimed 
Queen of England. But the change in the 
succession produced an unexpected uprising, 
in which even Protestants joined. Lady 
Jane Gfrey was hurried to the block, and the 
Catholic Mary to the throne. Henry's di- 
vorce was declared void, and his first mar- 
riage valid. Elizabeth was thus set aside by 
Act of Parliament ; and as she waited in the 
Tower, while her remorseless sister vainly 
sought for proofs of her complicity with the 
recent rebellion, she was seemingly nearer to 
a scaffold than to a throne. 

When we remember that there coursed in 
the veins of Mary Tudor the blood of cruel 
Spanish kings, mingled with that of Henry 
VIII., can we wonder that she was cruel and 
remorseless? Her marriage with Philip II. 
of Spain quickly overthrew the work of her 
father. Unlike Henry VIII., Mary was im- 
pelled by deep convictions ; and like her 
grandmother, Isabella I. of Spain, she perse- 
cuted to save from what she believed was 
death eternal ; and her cruelty, although 









• ^* 






— « 







i i 




















ur tempered by one humane impulse, was 
still prompted by a sincere fanaticism, with 
which was mingled an intense desire to 
please the Catholic Philip. But Philip re- 
mained obdurately in Spain ; and while she 
was lighting up all England with a blaze 
of martyrs, Calais, — over which the English 
standard planted by Edward III. had waved 
for more than 200 years, — Calais, the last 
English possession in France, was lost. 
Amid these crushing disappointments, pub- 
lic and personal, Mary died (1558), after a 
reign of only five years. 

Elizabeth with her legitimacy questioned 
was still under the shadow of the scaffold 
upon which her mother had perished. There 
is reason to believe that Philip II. turned the 
delicately balanced scale. It better suited 
him to have Elizabeth occupy the throne of 
England, than that Mary Stuart, the next 
nearest heir, should do so. Mary had mar- 
ried the Dauphin of France ; and France 
was Philip's enemy and rival. Better far 
that England should become Protestant, than 
that France should hold the balance of 
power in Europe! 


Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII. and 
Anne Boleyn, a disgraced and decapitated 
Queen, wore the crown of England. If hered- 
ity had been as much talked of then as now, 
England might have feared the child of a 
faithless wife, and a remorseless, bloodthirsty 
King. But while Mary, daughter of Kath- 
arine, the most pious and best of mothers, 
had left only a great blood-spot upon the 
page of History, Elizabeth's reign was to be 
the most wise, prosperous and great, the 
Kingdom had ever known. In her complex 
character there was the imperiousness, au- 
dacity and unscrupulousness of her father, 
the voluptuous pleasure-loving nature of 
her mother, and mingled with both, quali- 
ties which came from neither. She was a 
tyrant, held in check by a singular caution, 
with an instinctive perception of the pres* 


ence of danger, to which her purposes always 
instantly bent. 

The authority vested in her was as abso- 
lute as her father's, but while her imperious 
temper sacrificed individuals without mercy, 
she ardently desired the welfare of her 
Kingdom, which she ruled with extraordi- 
nary moderation and a political sagacity 
almost without parallel, softening, but not 
abandoning, one of her father's usurpations. 

She was a Protestant without any enthu- 
siasm for the religion she intended to restore 
in England, and prayed to the Virgin in her 
own private Chapel, while she was undoing 
the work of her Catholic sister Mary. Tie 
obsequious apologies to the Pope were with- 
drawn, but the Eeformation she was going 
to espouse, was not the fiery one being fought 
for in Germany and France. It was mild, 
moderate, and like her father's, more polit- 
ical than religious. The point she made 
was that there must be religious uniformity, 
and conformity to the Established Church 
of England — with its new " Articles," which 
as she often said, "left opinion free." 

It was in fact a softened reproduction of 


her terrible father's attitude. The Church, 
(called an "Episcopacy," on account of the 
jurisdiction of its Bishops,) was Protestant 
in doctrine, with gentle leaning toward 
Catholicism in externals, held still firmly by 
the "Act of Supremacy" in the controlling 
hand of the Sovereign. Above all else de- 
siring peace and prosperity for England, 
the keynote of Elizabeth's policy in Church 
and in State was conciliation and compro- 
mise. So the Church of England was to a 
great extent a compromise, retaining as 
much as the people would bear of external 
form and ritual, for the sake of reconciling 
Catholic England. 

The large element to whom this was of- 
fensive was reinforced by returning refu- 
gees who brought with them the stern doc- 
trines of Calvin ; and they finally separated 
themselves altogether from a Church in 
which so much of Papacy still lingered, to 
establish one upon simpler and purer foun- 
dation; hence they were called "Puritans," 
and " Nonconformists," and were persecuted 
for violation of the "Act of Supremacy." 

The masculine side of Elizabeth's charac- 


ter was fully balanced by her feminine 
foibles. Her vanity was inordinate. Her 
love of adulation and passion for display, 
her caprice, duplicity, and her reckless love- 
affairs, form a strange background for the 
calm, determined, masterly statesmanship 
under which her Kingdom expanded. 

The subject of her marriage was a mo- 
mentous one. There were plenty of aspi- 
rants for the honor. Her brother-in-law 
Philip, since the abdication of Charles V., 
his father, was a mighty King, ruler over 
Spain and the Netherlands, and was at the 
head of Catholic Europe. He saw in this 
vain, silly young Queen of England an easy 
prey. By marrying her he could bring 
England back to the fold, as he had done 
with her sister Mary, and the Catholic cause 
would be invincible. 

Elizabeth was a coquette, without the 
personal charm supposed to belong to that 
dangerous part of humanity. She toyed 
with an offer of marriage as does a cat with 
a mouse. She had never intended to marry 
Philip, but she kept him waiting so long for 
her decision, and so exasperated him with 

.: he ox aed at Last, " That 
girl has ben thousand Is in hei He 

little ti at, tih : :h that surface of 

folly H as a a a:ure bard as steel, and 

a calm. :. cool in spence, for whk 

s iwn would be no match, and which 

:>uld one day hold in she sk the liploinaey 

of the ,, Zs:\:riar' and on :: that of Eu- 

: :rhe adored the culture brought by 

te "new Learning:'' delighted in the so- 

ty :: Sir Philij -idney. who reflected all 

that s best in England of that day: 

Iked :: poetry with Spenser: disease 

.:". :s. ~ "ith Bruno; read Greek trago- 

be and Latin cr at: ans in the original : could 

converse in ft eon A and Italian, and was be - 

sides proficient in an~taer language. — the 

language :: the fishwife, — which she used 

with startling effect with her lords and 

ministers when hex temper was arouse 

and s r 1 : It e a trooper if occasion re- 


Bat whatever else she was doing she 

t teasel : sraav the new England she 

- railing. She felt, though did not un* 

deisl nd, tae expansion which was going 


on in the spirit of the people ; but instinc- 
tively realized the necessity for changes and 
modifications in her Government, when the 
temper of the nation seemed to require it. 

It was enormous common-sense and tact 
which converted Elizabeth into a liberal 
Sovereign. Her instincts were despotic. 
When she bowed instantly to the will of the 
Commons, almost apologizing for seeming 
to resist it, it was not because she sympa- 
thized with liberal sentiments, but because 
of her profound political instincts, which 
taught her the danger of alienating that 
class upon which the greatness of her King- 
dom rested. She realized the truth forgot- 
ten by some of her successors, that the Sov- 
ereign and the middle class must befriends. 
She might resist and insult her lords and 
ministers, send great Earls and favorites 
ruthlessly to the block, but no slightest 
cloud must come between her and her 
" dear Commons" and people. This it was 
which made Spenser's adulation in the 
"Faerie Queen" but an expression of the 
intense loyalty of her meanest subject. 

Perhaps it was because she remembered 


that the whole fabric of the Church rested 
upon Parliamentary enactment, and that 
she herself was Queen of England by Par- 
liamentary sanction, that she viewed sc 
complacently the growing power of that 
body in dealing more and more with mat- 
ters supposed to belong exclusively to the 
Crown, as for instance in the struggle 
made by the Commons to suppress monopo- 
lies in trade, granted by royal prerogative. 
At the first she angrily resisted the meas- 
ure. But finding the strength of the pop 
ular sentiment, she gracefully retreated, de- 
claring, with royal scorn for truth, that 
" she had not before known of the existence 
of such an evil." 

In fact, lying, in her independent code of 
morals, was a virtue, and one to which she 
owed some of her most brilliant triumphs 
in diplomac} 7 *. And when the bald, unmiti- 
gated lie was at last found out, she felt not 
the slightest shame, but only amusement at 
the simplicity of those who had believed she 
was speaking the truth. 

Her natural instincts, her thrift, and her 
love ef peace inclined her to keep aloof 


from the struggle going on in Europe be- 
tween Protestants and Catholics. But while 
the news of St. Bartholomew's Eve seemed 
to give her no thrill of horror, she still 
sent armies and money to aid the Hu- 
guenots in France, and to stem the perse- 
cutions of Philip in the Netherlands, and 
committed England fully to >a cause for 
which she felt no enthusiasm. She encour- 
aged every branch of industry, commerce, 
trade, fostered everything which would lead 
to prosperity. Listened to Raleigh's plans 
for colonization in America, permitting the 
New Colony to be called "Virginia" in her 
honor (the Virgin Queen). She chartered 
the "Merchant Company," intended to ab- 
sorb the new trade with the Indies (1600), 
and which has expanded into a British 
Empire in India. 

But amid all this triumph, a sad and soli- 
tary woman sat on the throne of England. 
The only relation she had in the world was 
her cousin, Mary Stuart, who was plotting 
to undermine and supplant her. 

The question of Elizabeth's legitimacy was 
an ever recurring one, and afforded a rally- 


ing point for malcontents, who asserted that 
her mother's marriage with Henry VIII. 
was invalidated by the refusal of the Pope 
to sanction the divorce. Mary Stuart, who 
stood next to Elizabeth in the succession, 
formed a centre from which a network of 
intrigue and conspiracy was always menac- 
ing the Queen's peace, if not her life, and 
her crown. 

Scotland, since the extinction of the line 
of Bruce, had been ruled by the Stuart 
Kings. Torn by internal feuds between her 
clans, and by the incessant struggle against 
English encroachments, she had drawn into 
close friendship with France, which country 
used her for its own ends, in harassing 
England, so that the Scottish border was al- 
ways a point of danger in every quarrel be- 
tween French and English Kings. 

In 1502 Henry VIII. had bestowed the 
hand of his sister Margaret upon James IV. 
of Scotland, and it seemed as if a peaceful 
union was at last secured with his Northern 
neighbor. But in the war with France which 
soon followed, James, the Scottish King, 
turned to his old ally. He was killed at 


"Flodden Field," after suffering a crushing 
defeat. His successor, James V., had mar- 
ied Mary Guise. Her family was the head 
and front of the ultra Catholic party in 
France, and her counsels probably influ- 
enced James to a continual hostility to the 
Protestant Henry, even though he was his 
uncle. The death of James in consequence 
of his defeat at " Solway Moss" occurred im- 
mediately after the birth of his daughter, 
Mary Stuart (1542). 

This unhappy child at once became the 
centre of intriguing designs; Henry VIII. 
wishing to betroth the little Queen to his 
son, afterwards Edward VI. , and thus for- 
ever unite the rival kingdoms. But the 
Guises made no compromises with Protes- 
tants ! Mary Guise, who was now Eegent of 
the realm, had no desire for a closer union 
with Protestant England, and very much 
desired a nearer alliance with her own 
France. [ary Stuart was betrothed to the 
Dauphin, grandson of Francis I., and was sent 
to the French Court to be prepared by Cath- 
arine de' Medici (the Italian daughter-in-law 
of Francis I.; for her future exalted position* 


In 1561, Mary returned to England. Her 
boy-husband had died after a reign of two 
years. She was nineteen years old, had 
wonderful beauty, rare intelligence, and 
power to charm like a siren. Her short 
life had been spent in the most corrupt and 
profligate of Courts, under the combined 
influence of Catharine de Medici, the worst 
woman in Europe, — and her two uncles of 
the House of Guise, who were little better. 
Political intrigues, plottings and crimes 
were in the very air she breathed from in- 
fancy. But she was an ardent and devout 
Catholic, and as such became the centre and 
the hope of what still remained of Catholic 

Elizabeth would have bartered half her 
possessions for the one possession of beauty. 
That she was jealous of her fascinating rival 
there is little doubt, but that she was exas- 
perated at her pretensions and at the au- 
dacious plottings against her life and throne 
is not strange. In fact we wonder that, 
with her imperious temper, she so long hesi- 
tated to strike the fatal blow. 

Whether Mary committed the dark crimes 


attributed to her or not, we do not know. 
But we do know, that after the murder of 
her wretched husband, Lord Darnley, (her 
cousin, Henry Stuart), she quickly married 
the man to whom the deed was directly 
traced. Her marriage with Both well was 
her undoing. Scotland was so indignant 
at the act, that she took refuge in England, 
only to fall into Elizabeth's hands. 

Mary Stuart had once audaciously said, 
"the reason her cousin did not marry was 
because she would not lose the power of 
compelling men to make love to her." Per- 
haps the memory of this jest made it easier 
to sign the fatal paper in 1587. 

When we read of Mary's irresistible 
charm, of her audacity, her cunning, her 
genius for diplomacy and statecraft, far 
exceeding Elizabeth's — when we read of all 
this and think of the blood of the Guises in 
her veins, and the precepts of Catharine de 
Medici in her heart, we realize what her 
usurpation would have meant for England, 
and feel that she was a menace to the State, 
and justly incurred her fate. Then again, 
when we hear of her gentle patience in her 


long captivity, her prayers and piety, and her 
sublime courage when she walked through 
the Hall at Fotheringay Castle, and laid 
her beautiful head on the block as on a pil- 
low, we are melted to pity, and almost re- 
volted at the act. It is difficult to be just, 
with such a lovely criminal, unless one is 
made of such stern stuff as was John Knox. 
The son of Mary by Henry Stuart (Lord 
Darnley) was James VI. of Scotland. His 
pretensions to the English throne were now 
seemingly forever at rest. But Philip of 
Spain thought the time propitious for 
his own ambitious purposes, and sent an 
Armada (fleet) which approached the Coast 
in the form of a great Crescent, one mile 
across. The little English "seadogs," not 
much larger than small pleasure yachts, 
were led by Sir Francis Drake. They wor- 
ried the ponderous Spanish ships, and then, 
sending burning boats in amongst them, 
soon spoiled the pretty crescent. The fleet 
scattered along the Northern Coast, where it 
was overtaken by a frightful storm, and the 
winds and the waves completed the victory, 
almost annihilating the entire "Armada." 


England was great and glorious. The 
revolution, religious, social and political, 
had ploughed and harrowed the surface 
which had been fertilized with the u New 
Learning," and the harvest was rich. 
"While all Europe was devastated by relig- 
ious wars there arose in Protestant England 
such an era of peace and prosperity, with 
all the conditions of living so improved that 
the dreams of Sir Thomas More's " Utopia" 
seemed almost realized. The new culture 
was everywhere. England was garlanded 
with poetry, and lighted by genius, such 
as the world has not seen since, and may 
never see again. The name of Francis 
Bacon was sufficient to adorn an age, and 
that of Shakespeare alone, enough to illu- 
mine a century. Elizabeth did not create 
the glory of the "Elizabethan Age," but 
she did create the peace and social order 
from which it sprang. 

If this Queen ever loved any one it was 
the Earl of Leicester, the man who sent his 
lovely wife, Amy Eobsart, to a cruel death 
in the delusive hope of marrying a Queen. 
We are unwilling to harbor the suspicion 


that she was accessory to this deed ; and yet 
we cannot forget that she was the daughter 
of Henry VIII. ! — and sometimes wonder if 
the memory of a crime as black as Mary's 
haunted her sad old age, when sated with 
pleasures and triumphs, lovers no more 
whispering adulation in her ears, and mir- 
rors banished from her presence, she silently 
waited for the end. 

She died in the year 1603, and succumb- 
ing to the irony of fate, — and possibly as 
an act of reparation for the fatal paper 
signed in 1587, — she named the son of Mary 
Stuart, James VI. of Scotland, her successor, 
—James I. of England. 


The House of Stuart had peacefully 
reached the long coveted throne of England 
in the person of a most unkingly King. 
Gross in appearance and vulgar in manners, 
James had none of the royal attributes of 
his mother. A great deal of knowledge had 
been crammed into a very small mind. 
Conceited, vain, pedantic, headstrong, he 
set to work with the confidence of ignorance 
to carry out his undigested views upon all 
subjects, reversing at almost every point 
the policy of his great predecessor. Where 
she with supreme tact had loosened the 
screws so that the great authority vested in 
her might not press too heavily upon the 
nation, he tightened them. Where she 
bowed her imperious will to that of the 
Commons, this puny tyrant insolently defied 
it, and swelling with sense of his own great- 


ness, claimed "Divine right" for Kingship 
and demanded that his people should say 
"the King can do no wrong," "to question 
his authority is to question that of God." 
If he ardently supported the Church of Eng- 
land, it was because he was its head. The 
Catholic who would have turned the Church 
authority over again to the Pope, and the 
" Puritans" who resisted the "Popish prac- 
tices" of the Eeformed Church of England, 
were equally hateful to him, for one and 
the same reason ; they were each aiming to 
diminish his authoritv. 

When the Puritans brought to him a peti- 
tion signed by 800 clergymen, praying that 
they be not compelled to wear the surplice, 
nor make the sign of the cross at baptism — 
he said they were "vipers," and if they did 
not submit to the authority of the Bishops 
in such matters "they should be harried out 
of the land." In the persecution implied 
by this threat, a large body of Puritans es- 
caped to Holland with their families, and 
thence came that band of heroic men and 
women on the " Mayflower," landing at a 
point on the American Coast which they 


called " Plymouth" (1620). A few English- 
men had in 1607 settled in Jamestown, Vir- 
ginia. These two colonies contained the 
germ of the future "United States of 

The persecution of the Catholics led to 
a plot to blow up Parliament House at a 
time when the King was present, thinking 
thus at one stroke to get rid of a usurping 
tyrant, and of a House of Commons which 
was daily becoming more and more infected 
with Puritanism. The discovery of this 
"Guy Fawkes gunpowder plot," prevented 
its consummation, and immensely strength- 
ened Puritan sentiment. 

The keynote of Elizabeth's foreign policy 
had been hostility to Spain, that Catholic 
stronghold, and an unwavering adherence to 
Protestant Europe. James saw in that 
great and despotic government the most 
suitable friend for such a great King as 
himself. He proposed a marriage between 
his son Charles and the Infanta, daughter 
of the King of Spain, making abject promises 
of legislation in his Kingdom favorable to 
the Catholics; and when an indignant House 


of Commons protested against the marriage, 
they were insolently reprimanded for med- 
dling with things which did not concern 
them, and were sent home, not to be recalled 
again until the King's necessities for money 
compelled him to summon them. 

During the early part of his reign the 
people seem to have been paralyzed and 
speechless before his audacious pretensions. 
Great courtiers were fawning at his feet 
listening to his pedantic wisdom, and hu- 
moring his theory of the "Divine right'' of 
hereditary Kingship. And alas! — that we 
have to say it — Francis Bacon (his Chancel- 
lor), with intellect towering above his cen- 
tury, — was his obsequious servant and tool, 
uttering not one protest as one after another 
the liberties of the people were trampled 

But this Spanish marriage had aroused a 
spirit before which a wiser man than James 
would have trembled. He was standing 
midway between two scaffolds, that of his 
mother (1587), and his son (1649). Every 
blow he struck at the liberties of England 
cut deep into the foundation of his throne. 


And when he violated the law of the land by 
the imposition of taxes, without the sanc- 
tion of his Parliament, he had "sowed the 
wind" and the "whirlwind," which was to 
break on his son's head was inevitable. 
Popular indignation began to be manifest, 
and Puritan members of the Commons began 
to use language the import of which could 
not be mistaken. Bacon was disgraced; his 
crime, — while ostensibly the "taking of 
bribes," — was in reality his being the servile 
tool of the King. 

In reviewing the acts of this reign we see 
a foolish Sovereign ruled by an intriguing 
adventurer whom he created Duke of Buck- 
ingham. We see him foiled in his attempt to 
link the fate of England with that of Cath- 
olic Europe ; — sacrificing Sir Walter Ealeigh 
because he had given offense to Spain, the 
country whose friendship be most desired. 
We see numberless acts of folly, and but 
three which we can commend. James did 
authorize and promote the translation of 
the Bible which has been in use until to- 
day. He named his double Kingdom of 
England and Scotland "Great Britain." 


These two acts, together with his death in 
1625, meet with our entire approval. 

Charles L, son of James, was at least one 
thing which his father was not. He was a 
gentleman. Had it not been his misfor- 
tune to inherit a crown, his scholarly refine- 
ments and exquisite tastes, his irreproach- 
able morals, and his rectitude in the per- 
sonal relations of life, might have won him 
only esteem and honor. But these qualities 
belonged to Charles Stuart the gentleman. 
Charles the King was imperious, false, ob- 
stinate, blind to the conditions of his time, 
and ignorant of the nature of his people. 
Every step taken during his reign led him 
nearer to its fatal consummation. 

No family in Europe ever grasped at 
power more unscrupulously than the Guises 
in France. They were cruel and remorseless 
in its pursuit. It was the warm southern 
blood of her mother which was Mary 
Stuart's ruin. She was a Guise, — and so 
was her son James I. — and so was Charles 
I., her grandson. There was despotism and 
tyranny in their blood. Their very natures 
made it impossible that they should com- 


prehend the Anglo-Saxon ideal of civil lib- 

Who can tell what might have been the 
course of History, if England had been ruled 
by English Kings, which it has not been 
since the Conquest. With every royal mar- 
riage there is a fresh infusion of foreign 
blood drawn from fountains not always the 
purest, — until after centuries of such dilu- 
tions, the royal line has less of the Anglo- 
Saxon in it than any ancestral Hne in the 

The odious Spanish marriage had been 
abandoned and Charles had married Henri- 
etta, sister of Louis XIII. of France. 

The subject of religion was the burning 
one at that time. It soon became apparent 
that the new King's personal sympathies 
leaned as far as his position permitted to- 
ward Catholicism. The Church of England 
under its new Primate, Archbishop Laud, 
was being drawn farther away from Prot- 
estantism and closer to Papacy; while Laud 
in order to secure Royal protection advocated 
the absolutism of the King, saying that 
James in his theory of " Divine right" had 


been inspired by the Holy Ghost, thus turn- 
ing religion into an engine of attack upon 
English liberties. Laud's ideal was a puri- 
fied Catholicism — retaining auricular con- 
fession, prayers for the dead, the Eeal 
Presence in the Sacrament, genuflexions 
and crucifixes, all of which were odious to 
Puritans and Presbyterians. He had a bold, 
narrow mind, and recklessly threw himself 
against the religious instincts of the time. 
The same pulpit from which was read a 
proclamation ordering that the Sabbath be 
treated as a holiday, and not a Holy-day, 
was also used to tell the people that resist- 
ance to the King's will was "Eternal dam- 
nation. " 

This made the Puritans seem the defend- 
ers of the liberties of the country, and drew 
hosts of conservative Churchmen, such as 
Pym, to their side, although not at all in 
sympathy with a religious fanaticism which 
condemned innocent pleasures, and ail the 
things which adorn life, as mere devices of 
the devil. Such were the means by which 
the line was at last sharply drawn. The 
Church of England and tyranny on one 


side, and Puritanism and liberty on t : 

But there was one thing which at this 
moment was of deeper interest to the King 
than religion. He wanted, — he must have, 
— money. Religion and money are the two 
things upon which the fate of nations has 
oftenest hung. These two dangerous fac- 
tors were both present now, and they were 
going to make history very fast. 

On account of a troublesome custom pre- 
vailing in his Kingdom, Charles must first 
summon his Parliament, and they must 
grant the needed supplies. His father had 
by the discovery of the theory of "Divine 
right," prepared the way to throw off these 
Parliamentary trammels. But that could 
only be reached by degrees. So Parliament 
was summoned. It had no objection to 
voting the needed subsidies, but, — the King 
must first promise certain reforms, political 
and religious, and — dismiss his odious Min- 
ister Buckingham. 

Charles, indignant at this outrage, dis- 
solved the body, and appealed to the country 
for a loan. The same reply came from 


every quarter. " We will gladly lend the 
money, but it must be done through Parlia- 
ment." The King was thoroughly aroused. 
If the loan will not be voluntary, it must 
be forced. A tax was levied, fines and pen- 
alties for its resistance meted out by sub- 
servient judges. 

John Hampden was one of the earliest 
victims. His means were ample, the sum 
was small, but his manhood was great. 
"Not one farthing, if it cost me my life," 
was his reply as he sat in the prison at Gate 

The supply did not meet the King's de- 
mand. Overwhelmed with debt and shame 
and rage, he was obliged again to resort to 
the hated means. Parliament was sum- 
moned. The Commons, with memory of 
recent outrages in their hearts, were more 
determined than before. The members 
drew up a " Petition of Right," which was 
simply a reaffirmation of the inviolability of 
the rights of person, of property and of 
speech — a sort of second "Magna Charta." 

They resolutely and calmly faced their 
King, the "Petition" in one hand, the 


granted subsidies in the other. For a while 
he defied them ; but the judges were whis- 
pering in his ear that the "Petition" would 
not be binding upon him, and Buckingham 
was urging him to yield. Perhaps it was 
Charles Stuart the gentleman who hesi- 
tated to receive money in return for solemn 
promises which he did not intend to keep! 
But Charles the King signed the paper, which 
seven judges out of twelve, in the highest 
court of the realm, were going to pro- 
nounce invalid because the King's power 
was beyond the reach of Parliament. It 
was inherent in him as King, and bestowed 
by God. Any infringement upon his pre- 
rogative by Act of Parliament was void ! 

With king so false, and with justice so 
polluted at its fountain, what hope was 
there for the people but in Revolution? 

From the tyranny of the Church under 
Laud, a way was opened when, in 1629, 
Charles granted a Charter to the Colony of 
Massachusetts. With a quiet, stern enthu- 
siasm the hearts of men turned toward that 
refuge in America. Not men of broken for- 
tunes, adventurers, and criminals, but own- 


ers of large landed estates, professional 
men, some of the best in the land, who 
abandoned home and comfort to face intol- 
erable hardships. One wrote, "We are 
weaned from the delicate milk of our 
Mother England and do not mind these 
trials." As the pressure increased under 
Laud, the stream toward the West increased 
in volume; so that in ten years 20,000 Eng- 
lishmen had sought religious freedom across 
the sea, and had founded a Colony which, 
strange to say, — under the influence of an 
intense religious sentiment, — became itself a 
Theocracy and a new tyranny, although one 
sternly just and pure. 

The dissolute, worthless Buckingham had 
been assassinated, and Charles had wept 
passionate tears over his dead body. But 
his place had been filled by one far better 
suited to the King's needs at a time when he 
had determined not again to recall Parlia- 
ment, but to rule without it until resistance 
to his measures had ceased. 

It was with no sinister purpose of estab- 
lishing a despotism such as a stronger man 
might have harbored, that he made this 


resolve. What Charles wanted was simply 
the means of filling his exchequer; and if 
Parliament would not give him that except 
by a dicker for reforms, and humiliating 
pledges which he could not keep, why then 
he would find new ways of raising money 
without them. His father had done it be- 
fore him. he had done it himself. With no 
Commons there to rate and insult him, it 
could be clone without hindrance. 

He was not grand enough, nor base 
enough, nor was he rich enough, to carry 
out any organized design upon the country. 
He simply wanted money, and had such 
blind confidence in Kingship, that any very 
serious resistance to his authority did not 
enter his dreams. It was the limitations of 
his intelligence which proved his ruin, his 
inability to comprehend a new condition in 
the spirit of his people. Elizabeth would 
have felt it, though she did not understand 
it, and would have loosened the screws, 
without regard for her personal preferences, 
and by doing it, so bound the people to her, 
that her policy would have been their 
policy. Charles was as wise as the en- 


gineer who would rivet down the safety- 
valves ! 

Sir Thomas Wentworth (Earl Strafford), 
who had taken the place of Buckingham, 
was an apostate from the party of liberty. 
Disappointed in becoming a leader in the 
Commons he had drawn gradually closer to 
the King, who now leaned upon him as the 
vine upon the oak. 

This man's ideal was to build up in Eng- 
land just such a despotism as Richelieu was 
building in France. The same imperious 
temper, the same invincible will and admin- 
istrative genius, marked him as fitted for the 
work. While Charles was feebly scheming 
for revenue, he was laying large and com- 
prehensive plans for a system of oppression, 
which should yield the revenue, — and for 
Arsenals and Forts — and a standing Army, 
and a rule of terror which should hold the 
nation in subjection while these things were 
preparing. He was clear-sighted enough to 
see that "absolutism" was not to be accom- 
plished by a system of reasoning. He would 
not urge it as a dogma, but as a fact. 

The "Star Chamber," a tribunal for the 


trying of a certain class of offences, was 
brought to a state of fresh efficiency. Its 
punishments could be anything this side of 
death. A clergyman accused of speaking 
disrespectfully of Laud, is condemned to 
pay £5,000 to the King, £300 to the ag- 
grieved Archbishop himself, one side of his 
nose is to be slit, one ear cut off, and one 
cheek branded. The next week this to be 
repeated on the other side, and then fol- 
lowed by imprisonment subject to pleasure 
of the Court. Another who has written a 
book considered seditious, has the same sen- 
tence carried out, only varied by imprison- 
ment for life. 

These were some of the embellishments of 
the system called "Thorough," which was 
carried on by the two friends and confeder- 
ates, Laud and Strafford, who were in their 
pleasant letters to each other all the time 
lamenting that the power of the "Star 
Chamber" was so limited, and judges so 
timid! Is it strange that the plantation in 
Massachusetts had fresh recruits? 

But the more serious work was going on 
under Strafford's vigorous management. 


"Monopolies" were sold once more, with a 
fixed duty on profits added to the price of 
the original concession. Every article in 
use by the people was at last bought up by 
Monopolists, who were compelled to add to 
the price of these commodities, to compen- 
sate for the tax they must pay into the 
King's Treasury. 

"Ship Money" was a tax supposably for 
the building of a Navy, for which there was 
no accounting to the people, the amount 
and frequency of the levy being discretion- 
ary with the King. It was always possible 
and imminent, and was the most odious of 
all the methods adopted for wringing money 
from the nation, while resistance to it, as to 
all other such measures, was punished by 
the Star Chamber in such pleasant fashion 
as would please Strafford and Laud, whose 
creatures the judges were. 

Hampden, as before, championed the 
rights of the people in his own person, 
going to prison and facing death, if it were 
necessary, rather than pay the amount of 
20 shillings. But that the taxes were 
paid by the people is evident, for so success- 


ful was this scheme of revenue that many 
predicted the King would never again call 
a Parliament. What would be the need of 
a Parliament, if he did not require money? 
The Royalists were pleased, and the people 
were wisely patient, knowing that such a 
financial fabric must fall at the first breath 
of a storm, and then their time would 


The storm came in the form of a war 
upon Scotland, to enforce the established 
Church, which it had cast out "root and 
branch" for the Presbyterianism which 
pleased it. The Loyalists were alarmed by 
rumors that Scotland was holding treas- 
onable communication with her old ally, 
France; and after an interval of eleven 
years, a Parliament was summoned, which 
w T as destined to outlive the King. 

The Commons came together in stern 
temper, Pym standing promptly at the Bar 
of the House of Lords with Strafford's im- 
peachment for High Treason. The great 
Earl's apologists among the Lords, his own 
ingenious and powerful pleadings, the 
King's entreaties and worthless promises, 
all were in vain. 

The King saw the whole fabric of tyranny 


crumbling before his eyes. He was over- 
awed and dared not refuse his signature to 
the fatal paper. It is said that as Strafford 
passed to the block, Laud, who was at the 
window of the room where he too was a 
prisoner, fainted as his old companion in 
cruelty stopped to say farewell to him. 

There were a few moments of silence, 
then, — a wild exultant shout. "His head 
is off — His head is off." 

The execution of the Archbishop swiftly 
followed, then the abolition of the Star 
Chamber, and of the High Commission 
Court; then a bill was passed requiring 
that Parliament be summoned once in three 
years, and a law enacted forbidding its 
dissolution except by its own consent. 

They were rapidly nearing the conception 
that Parliament does not exist by sanction 
of the King, but the King by sanction of 

What could be done with a King whom 
no promises could bind — who, while in the 
act of giving solemn pledges to Parliament 
in order to save Strafford, was perfidiously 
planning to overawe it by military force? 


The attempted arrest of Hampden, Pym, 
and three other leaders was part of this 
" Army Plot," which made civil war inevi- 
table. The trouble had resolved itself into 
a deadly conflict between King and Parlia- 
ment. If he resorted to arms, so must 

If Hampden stands out pre-eminent as the 
Champion who like a great Gladiator fought 
the battle of civil freedom, Pym is no less 
conspicuous in having grasped the principles 
on which it must be fought. He saw that 
if either Crown or Parliament must go 
down, better for England that it should be 
the crown. He saw also, that the vital 
principle in Parliament lay in the House of 
Commons. If the King refused to act with 
them, it should be treated as an abdication, 
and Parliament must act without him, and 
if the Lords obstructed reform, then they 
must be told that the Commons must act 
alone, rather than let the Kingdom per- 

This was the theory upon which the fu- 
ture action was based. Revolutionary and 
without precedent it has since been accepted 

From the drawing by Seymour Lucas. 

Cromwell dissolving the Long Parliament, 1653. 

Having commanded the soldiers to clear the hall, he himself went 
out last, and ordered the doors to be locked. 


as the correct construction of English Con- 
stitutional principles. 

Better would it have been for Charles 
had he let the ship sail, which was to have 
borne Hampden and Oliver Cromwell (cousin 
of the latter) toward the "Valley of the 
Connecticut." When he gave that order, 
he recalled the man who was to be his evil 
genius. Cromwell could not so accurately 
have defined the constitutional right of his 
cause as Pym had done, nor make himself 
its adored head as was Hampden; but he 
had a more compelling genius than either. 
His figure stands up colossal and grim away 
above all others from the time he raised his 
praying, psalm-singing army, until the de- 
feat of the King's forces at Naseby (1645), 
the flight of the King and his subsequent 

It was at this time that Cromwell began 
to manifest as much ability as a political as 
he had done as a military leader. Hamp- 
den had fallen on the battlefield, Pym was 
dead, he was virtual head of the cause. 
Perhaps it needed just such a terrible, un- 
compromising instrument, to carry Eng- 


land over such a crisis as was before her. 
Not overscrupulous about means, no trou- 
blesome theories about Church or State — no 
reverence for anything but God and "the 

When Parliament halted and hesitated 
at the last about the trial of the King, it 
was the iron hand of Cromwell which 
strangled opposition, by placing a body of 
troops at the door, and excluding 140 doubt- 
ful members. A Parliament, with the 
House of Lords effaced, and with 140 ob- 
structing members excluded, leaving only a 
small body of men of the same mind, sus- 
tained by the moral sentiment of a Crom- 
wellian Army, — can scarcely be called a 
Representative body; nor can it be consid- 
ered competent to create a Court for the 
trial of a King ! It was only justifiable as 
a last and desperate measure of self- 

Charles wins back some of our sympathy 
and esteem by dying like a brave man and 
a gentleman. He conducted himself with 
marvellous dignity and self - possession 
throughout the trial, and at the end of 


seven days, laid his head upon the block 
in front of his royal palace of Whitehall. 

That small body of men, calling itself the 
" House of Commons, " declared England a 
"Commonwealth," which was to be gov- 
erned without any King or House of Lords. 
Cromwell was "Lord Protector of England, 
Scotland and Ireland." He scorned to be 
called King, but no King was ever more 
absolute in authority. It was a righteous 
tyranny, replacing a vicious one. 

There was no longer an eager hand dip- 
ping into the pockets of the people, com- 
pelling the poor to share his scanty earn- 
ings with the King. There was safety, and 
there was prosperity. But there was rage 
and detestation, as Cromwell's soldiers with 
gibes and jeers, hewed and hacked at ven- 
erable altars and pictures, and insulted the 
religious sentiment of one-half the people. 
Empty niches, mutilated carvings, and 
fragments of stained glass, from 

"Windows richly dight, 
Casting a dim religious light, n 

show us to-day the track of those profane 


When the remnant of the House of Com- 
mons calling itself a Parliament was not 
alert enough in its obedience, Cromwell 
marched into the Hall with a company of 
musketeers, and calling them names neither 
choice nor flattering, ordered them to "get 
out," then locked the door, and put the key 
into his pocket. Such was the "dissolu- 
tion" of a Parliament which had been strong 
enough to overthrow a Government, and 
to send a King to the Scaffold ! This might 
be fittingly described as a personal Govern- 

He was loved by none but the Army. 
There was no strong current of popular sen- 
timent to uphold him as he carried out his 
arbitrary purposes; no engines of cruelty 
to fortify his authority; no "Star Cham- 
ber" to enforce his order. Men were not 
being nailed by the ears to the pillory, nor 
mutilated and branded, for resisting his 
will. But the spectacle was for that reason 
all the more astonishing: a great nation, 
full of rage, hate and bitterness, but silent 
and submissive under the spell of one domi- 
nating personality. 


He had no experience in diplomatic- 
usages, no skilled ministers to counsel and 
warn, but by his foreign policy he made him- 
self the terror of Europe; Spain, France, 
and the United Provinces courting his friend- 
ship, while Protestantism had protection at 
home and abroad. 

That the man who did this had a com- 
manding genius, all must be agreed. But 
whether he was the incarnation of evil, or 
of righteousness, must ever remain in dis- 
pute. We shall never know whether or not 
his death, in 1658, cut short a career which 
might have passed from a justifiable to an 
unjustifiable tyranny. 

A fabric held up by one sustaining hand, 
must fall when that hand is withdrawn. 
Cromwell left none who could support his 
burden. Charles II., who had been more 
than once foiled in trying to get in by the 
back door of his father's kingdom, was now 
invited to enter by the front, and amid 
shouts of joy was placed on the throne. 


Time brings its revenges. The instinct 
for beauty, and for joy and gladness, had 
been for twenty-one years repressed by 
harshly administered Puritanism. There 
was a thrill of delight in greeting a gra- 
cious, smiling king, who would lift the 
spell of gloom from the nation. Charles 
did this, more fully than was expected. 
Never was the law of reaction more fully 
demonstrated! The Court was profligate, 
and the age licentious. The reign of Charles 
was an orgy. When he needed more money 
for his pleasures, he bargained with Louis 
XIV. to join that king in a war upon Prot- 
estantism in Holland, for the consideration 
of £200,000 ! 

We wonder how he dared thus to goad 
and prod the British Lion, which had de- 
voured his Father. But that animal had 


grown patient since the Protectorate. Eng- 
land treated Charles like a spoiled child 
whose follies entertained her, and whose mis- 
demeanors she had not the heart to punish. 

The "Soundheads," who had trampled 
upon the "Cavaliers," were now trampled 
upon in return. But even at such a time as 
this the liberties of the people w T ere expand- 
ing. The Act of " Habeas Corpus" forever 
prevented imprisonment, without showing 
in Court just cause for the detention of the 

The House of Stuart, those children of 
the Guises, was always Catholic at heart, 
and Charles was at no pains to conceal his 
preferences. A wave of Catholicism alarmed 
the people, who tried to divert the succes- 
sion from James, the brother of the King, 
who was extreme and fanatical in his devo- 
tion to the Church of Eome. But in 1685, 
the Masks and routs and revels were inter- 
rupted. The pleasure-loving Charles, who 
"had never said a foolish thing, and never 
done a wise one," lay dead in his palace at 
Whitehall, and James II. was King of Eng- 


Three names have illumined this reign, in 
other respects so inglorious. In 1666 New- 
ton discovered the law of gravitation and 
created a new theory of the Universe. In 
1667 Milton published "Paradise Lost," and 
in 1672 Bunyan gave to the world his al- 
legory, "Pilgrim's Progress." There was 
no inspiration to genius in the cause of 
King and Cavaliers. But the stern prob- 
lems of Puritanism touched two souls with 
the divine afflatus. The sacred Epic of 
Milton, sublime in treatment as in concep- 
tion, must ever stand unique and solitary 
in literature; while "Pilgrim's Progress," 
in plain homely dish served the same heav- 
enly food. The theme of both was the 
problem of sin and redemption with which 
the Puritan soul was gloomily struggling. 

The reign of James II. was the last effort 
of royal despotism to recover its own. He 
tried to recall the right of Habeas Corpus; 
— to efface Parliament — and to overawe the 
Clergy, while insidiously striving to estab- 
lish Papacy as the religion of the Kingdom. 
Chief Justice Jeffries, that most brutal of 
men, was his efficient aid, and boasted that 


he had in the service of James hanged more 
traitors than all his predecessors since the 
Conquest ! 

The names Whig and Tory had come 
into existence in this struggle. Whig 
standing for the opponents to Catholic dom- 
ination, and Tory for the upholders of the 
King. But so flagrantly was the Catholic 
policy of James conducted, that his up- 
holders were few. In three years from his 
accession, Whig and Tory alike were so 
alarmed, that they secretly sent an invita- 
tion to the King's son-in-law, William, 
Prince of Orange, to come and accept the 

William responded at once, and when he 
landed with 14,000 men, James, paralyzed, 
powerless, unable to raise a force to meet 
him, abandoned his throne without a strug- 
gle and took refuge in France. 

The throne was formally declared vacant 
and William and Mary his wife were in- 
vited to rule jointly the Kingdom of Eng- 
land, Ireland and Scotland (1689). 

The House of Stuart, which seems to have 
brought not one single virtue to the throne, 


was always secretly conspiring with Catholi- 
cism in Europe. Louis XIV., as the head 
of Catholic Europe at this time, was the 
natural protector of the dethroned King. 
His aim had long been, to bring England 
into the Catholic European alliance, and, of 
course, if possible, to make it a dependency 
of France. A conspiracy with Louis to ac- 
complish this end occupied England's exiled 
King during the rest of his life. 

But European Protestantism had for its 
leader the man who now sat upon the 
throne of England. In fact he had prob- 
ably accepted that throne in order to further 
his larger plans for defeating the expanding 
power of Louis XIV. in Europe. Broad and 
comprehensive in his statesmanship, noble 
and just in character, an able military 
leader, England was safe in his strong 
hand. Conspiracies were put down, one 
French army after another, with the des- 
picable James at its head, was driven back ; 
the purpose at one time being to establish 
James at the head of an independent King- 
dom in Catholic Ireland. But that would- 
be King of Ireland was humiliated and sent 


back to France by the battle of Boyne 

As important as was all this, things of 
even greater moment were going on in the 
life of England at this time. As a wise 
householder employs the hours of sunshine 
to repair the leaks revealed by the storm, 
just so Parliament now set about strength- 
ening and riveting the weak spots revealed 
by the storms which had swept over Eng- 

What the " M agna Charta" and "Petition 
of Right" had asserted in a general way, 
was now by the "Bill of Bights," estab- 
lished by specific enactments, which one 
after another declared what the King 
should and what he should not do. One 
of these Acts touched the very central 
nerve of English freedom. 

If religion and money are the two impor- 
tant factors in the life of a nation, it is 
money upon which its life from day to day 
depends ! A Government can exist without 
money about as long as a man without air! 
So the act which gave to the House of 
Commons exclusive power to grant supplies, 


and also to determine to what use they 
shall be applied, transferred the real au- 
thority to the people, whose will the Com- 
mons express. 

The struggle between the Crown and 
Parliament ends with this, and the theory 
of Pym is vindicated. The Sovereign and 
the House of Lords from that time could 
no more take money from the Treasury of 
England, than from that of France. Hence- 
forth there can be no differences between 
King and people. They must befriends. A 
Ministry which forfeits the friendship of the 
Commons, cannot stand an hour, and sup- 
plies will stop until they are again in accord. 
In other words, the Government of England 
had become a Government of the people. 

William regarded these enactments as 
evidence of a lack of confidence in him. 
Conscious of his own magnanimous aims, 
of his power and his purpose to serve Eng- 
land as she had not been served before, he 
felt hurt and wounded at fetters which 
had not been placed upon such Kings as 
Charles I. and his sons. We wonder that 
a man so exalted and so superior, did not 


Bee that it was for future England that 
these laws were framed, for a time when 
perhaps a Prince not generous, and noble, 
and pure should be upon the throne. 

William was silent, grave, cold, reserved 
almost to sternness. He had none of the 
qualities which awaken personal enthusi- 
asm. He was one of those great leaders 
who are worshipped from afar. Besides, it 
is not an easy task to rule another's house- 
hold. Benefits however great, reforms 
however wise, are sure to be considered an 
impertinence by some. Then — there might 
be another "Restoration," and wary ambi- 
tious nobles were cautiously making a rec< 
ord which would not unfit them for its 
benefits when it came. He lived in an 
atmosphere of conspiracy, suspicion, and 
loyalty grudgingly bestowed. But these 
were only the surface currents. Anglo- 
Saxon England recognized in this foreign 
King, a man with the same race instincts, 
the same ideals of integrity, honor, justice 
and personal liberty, as her own; qualities 
possessed by few of her native sovereigns 
since the good King Alfred. 


The expensive wars carried on against 
James and his confederate, Louis XIV., 
compelled loans whicii were the begin- 
ning of the National Debt. That and the 
establishing of the Bank or England, form 
part of the history of this reign. 

In 1702 William died, and Mary having 
also died a few years earlier, the succession 
passed to her sister Anne, who was to be 
the last Sovereign of the House of Stuart. 


William's policy had not been bounded by 
his Island Kingdom. It included the cause 
of Protestant Europe. An apparently in- 
vincible King sat on the throne of France, 
gradually drawing all adjacent Kingdoms 
into his dominion. When in defiance of 
past pledges he placed his grandson upon 
the vacant throne of Spain, .and declared 
that the Pyrenees should exist no more, 
even Catholic Austria revolted, and begin- 
ning to fear Louis more than Protestantism, 
new combinations were formed, England 
still holding aloof, and striving to keep out 
of the Alliance. But that all-absorbing 
King had long ago fixed his eye upon 
England as his future prey, and when 
he refused to recognize Anne as lawful 
Queen and declared his intention of plac- 
ing the " Pretender," son of King James, 


upon the throne, there could be no more 
hesitation. This Jupiter who had removed 
the Pyrenees, might wipe out the English 
Channel too ! Hitherto the name Whig had 
stood for the adherents to the war policy, 
and Tory for its opponents. Now, all was 
changed. Even the stupid Anne and her 
Tory friends saw that William's policy must 
be her policy if she would keep her Kingdom. 

Fortunate was it for England, and for 
Europe at this time that a " Marlborough" 
had climbed to distinction by a slender, and 
not too reputable ladder. This man, John 
Churchill, who a few years ago had been 
unknown, without training, almost with- 
out education, was by pure genius fitted to 
become, upon the death of William, the 
guiding spirit of the Grand Alliance. 

He had none of the qualities possessed by 
William, and all the qualities that leader 
had not. He had no moral grandeur, no 
stern adherence to principles. Whig and 
Tory were alike to him, and he followed 
whichever seemed to lead to success, and to 
the richest rewards. He was perfectly sor- 
did in his aims, invincible in his good na- 


ture, with a careless, easy bonhomie which 
captured the hearts of Europeans, who 
called him "the handsome Englishman." 
As adroit in managing men as armies, as 
wise in planning political moves as cam- 
paigns, using tact and diplomacy as effec- 
tually as artillery, he assumed the whole 
direction of the European war; managed 
every negotiation, planned every battle, 
and achieved its great and overwhelming 

"Blenheim" turned the tide of French 
victory, and broke the spell of Louis' invin- 
cibility. The loss at that battle was some- 
thing more than men and fortresses. It 
was prestige, and that self-confidence which 
had made the great King believe that 
nothing could resist his purposes. It was 
a new sensation for him to bend his neck, 
and to say that he acknowledged Anne 
Queen of England. 

Marlborough received as his reward the 
splendid estate upon which was built the 
palace of " Blenheim." Then, when in the 
sunshine of peace England needed him no 
more, Anne quarrelled with his wife, her 


adored friend, and cast him aside as a rusty 
sword no longer of use. But for years Eu- 
rope heard the song " Malbrook s'en va-t-en 
guerre," and his awe-inspiring name was 
used to frighten children in France and in 

His passionate love for his wife, Sarah 
Churchill, ran like a golden thread of ro- 
mance through Marlborough's stormy ca- 
reer. On the eve of battle, and in the first 
flush of victory, he must first and last write 
her; and he would more willingly meet 20,- 
000 Frenchmen than his wife's displeasure! 
Indeed Sarah seems to have waged her own 
battles very successfully with her tongue, 
and also to have had her own diplomatic 
triumphs. Through Anne's infatuation for 
her, she was virtually ruler while the friend- 
ship lasted. But to acquire ascendancy over 
Anne was not much of an achievement. 

It is said that there was but one duller 
person than the Queen in her Kingdom, and 
that was the royal Consort, George, Prince 
of Denmark. Happy was it for England 
that of the seventeen children born into this 
royal household, not one survived. The sue- 


cession, m the absence of direct heirs, was 
pledged to George, Elector of Hanover, a 
remote descendant of James I. 

It was during Anne's reign that English 
literature assumed a new character. The 
stately and classic form being set aside fo* 
a style more familiar, and which concerned 
itself with the affairs of everyday life. Let- 
ters shone with a mild splendor, while 
Steele, Sterne, Swift, Defoe and Fielding 
were writing, and Addison's " Spectator" 
was on every breakfast-table. 

In the year 1714: Anne died, and George 
L, of the House of Hanover, was King of 
England, — an England which, thanks to the 
great soldier and Duke, would never more 
be molested by the intriguing designs of a 
French King, and which held in her hand 
Gibraltar, the key to the Mediterranean. 

King George I. was a German grandson 
of Elizabeth, sister of Charles I. Deeply 
attached to his own Hanover, this stupid 
old man came slowly and reluctantly to as- 
sume his new honors. He could not speak 
English; and as he smoked his long pipe, 
his homesick soul was soothed by the ladies 


of his Court, who cut caricature figures out 
of paper for his amusement, while Eobert 
Walpole relieved him of affairs of State. As 
ignorant of the politics of England as of its 
language, Walpole selected the King's Min- 
isters and determined the policy of his 
Government ; establishing a precedent which 
has always been followed. Since that time 
it has been the duty of the Prime Minister 
to form the Ministry; and no sovereign 
since Anne has ever appeared at a Cabinet 
Council, nor has refused assent to a single 
Act of Parliament. 

Such a King was merely a symbol of 
Protestantism and of Constitutional Gov- 
ernment. But this stream of royal dulness 
which set in from Hanover in 1714, came 
as a great blessing at the time. It enabled 
England to be ruled for thirty years by the 
party which had since the usurpation of 
James I. stood for the rights of the people. 
Walpole created a Whig Government. The 
Whigs had never wavered from certain 
principles upon which they had risen to 
power. There must be no tampering with 
justice, nor with the freedom of the press, 


nor any attempt to rule independently of 
Parliament. Thirty years of rule under 
these principles converted them into an in- 
tegral part of the national life. The habit 
of loyalty to them was so established by this 
long ascendancy of the Whig party, that 
Englishmen forgot that such things could 
be ; — forgot that it was possible to infringe 
upon the sacred liberties of the people. 

However much " Whig" and "Tory" have 
seemed to change since we first hear of them 
in the time of James I., they have in fact 
remained essentially the same; the Whigs 
always tending to limit the power of the 
crown, and the Tories to limit that of the 
people. At the time of Walpole the Tories 
had been the supporters of the Pretender 
and of the High Church party, the Whigs 
of the policy of William and Protestantism. 
Their predecessors were the " Round- 
heads " and " Cavaliers," and their succes- 
sors to-day are found in the " Liberals " 
and " Conservatives." 

There was at last peace abroad and pros- 
perity at home. The latter was interrupted 
for a time in 1720 by the speculative mad- 


ness created by the "South-Sea Bubble." 
en were almost crazed by the rise in the 
value of shares from £100 to £1.000; and 
then plunged into despair and ruin when 
they suddenly dropped to nothing. The 
suffering caused by this wreck of fortunes 
was great. But industries revived, and 
prosperity and wealth returned with little 
to disturb them again until the death of 
George I. in 1727; when another George 
came over from Hanover to occupy the 
English throne. 

George II. had one advantage over his 
father. He did speak the English language. 
Nor was he content to smoke his pipe and 
entrust his Kingdom to his Ministers, which 
was a doubtful advantage for the nation. 
But his clever wife, Queen Caroline, believed 
thoroughly in Walpole, and when she was 
controlled by the Minister, and then in turn 
herself controlled the policy of the King^ 
that simple gentleman supposed that he, — 
George II., — was ruling his own King- 
dom. His small, narrow mind was inca- 
pable of statesmanship ; but he was a good 
soldier. Methodical, stubborn rmd passion- 


ate, he was a King who needed to be care- 
fully watched, and adroitly managed, to 
keep him from doing harm. 

There was a young "Pretender" in these 
days (Charles Edward Stuart), who was con- 
spiring with Louis XV., as his father had 
done with Louis XIV., to get to the English 
throne. We see him flitting about Europe 
from time to time, landing here and there 
on the British Coast — until when finally de- 
feated at " Culloden Moor," 1746, this wraith 
of the House of Stuart disappears — dying ob- 
scurely in Rome; and " Wha'll be King but 
Charlie," and "Over the Water to Charlie," 
linger only as the echo of a lost cause. 

There was a time of despondency when 
England seemed to be annexed to Hanover, 
following her fortunes, and sharing her 
misfortunes in the "seven years' war" over 
the Austrian succession, as if the Great 
Kingdom were a mere dependency to the 
little Electorate ; and all to please the stub- 
born King. Desiring peace above all things 
England was no sooner freed from one en- 
tanglement, than she was plunged into an- 


In India, the English "Merchant Com- 
pany," chartered by Elizabeth in 1600, had 
expanded to a power. One of the native 
Princes, jealous of these foreign intruders 
in Bengal, and roused, it was said, by the 
French to expel them, committed that deed 
at which the world has shuddered ever since. 
One hundred and fifty settlers and traders, 
were thrust into an air-tight dungeon — 
in an Indian midsummer. Maddened with 
heat and with thirst, most of them died be- 
fore morning, trampling upon each other in 
frantic efforts to get air and water. This 
is the story of the " Black Hole of Calcutta ;" 
which led to the victories of Clive, and the 
establishment of English Empire in India, 

Two years later a quarrel over the boun- 
daries of their American Colonies brought 
the French and English into direct conflict. 
Gen. Wolfe, the English Commander, was 
killed at the moment of victory in scaling 
the walls of Quebec. Montcalm, the French 
commander, being saved the humiliation o'l 
seeing the loss of Canada (1760), by shari/jg 
the same fate. 


The dream of French Empire in America 
was at an end; and with the cession of 
Florida by Spain, England was mistress of 
the eastern half of the Continent from Nova 
Scotia to the Gulf of Mexico, and from the 
Atlantic to the Mississippi. So since the 
days of Elizabeth, and from seed dropped 
by her hand, an Eastern and a Western Em- 
pire had been added to that island King- 
dom, whose highest dream had been to get 
back some of her lost provinces in France. 
Instead of that it was to be her destiny to 
girdle the Earth, so that the Sun in its en- 
tire course should never cease to shine upon 
British Dominions. 

Side by side with the aspiration which 
uplifts a nation, there is always a tendency 
toward degradation, which can only be ar- 
rested by the infusion of a higher spiritual 
life. Strong alcoholic liquors had taken the 
place of beer in England (to avoid the ex- 
cessive tax imposed upon it) and the grossest 
intemperance prevailed in the early part of 
this reign. John Wesley introduced a re- 
generative force when he went about among 
the people preaching "Methodism," a pure 


and simple religion. Not since Augustine 
had the hearts of men been so touched, and 
a new life and new spirit came into being, 
better than all the prosperity and territorial 
expansion of the time. 

Walpole had passed from view long be- 
fore the stirring changes we have alluded 
to. A new hand was guiding the affairs of 
State ; the hand of William Pitt, 


At the close of the Seven Tears' War, Eng- 
land had driven the French out of Canada, 
— her ships which had traversed the Pacific 
from one end to the other, (Capt. Cook) had 
wherever they touched, claimed islands for 
the Crown; she had projected into the heart 
of India English institutions and civilization. 

Mistress of North America, and of the Pa- 
cific Isles, and future mistress of India, she 
had left in comparative insignificance those 
European States whose power was bounded 
by a single Continent. And all this, — in the 
reign of the puniest King who had ever sat 
upon her throne ! As if to show that Eng- 
land was great not through — but in spite 
of, her Kings. 

When in 1760, George III. came to the 
throne, thirteen prosperous American Col- 
onies were a source of handsome revenue to 


the mother country, by whom they were 
regarded as receptacles for surplus popula- 
tion, and a good field for unsuccessful men 
and adventurers. These children were fre- 
quently reminded that they owed England 
a great debt of gratitude. They had cost 
her expensive Indian and French wars for 
which she should expect them to reimburse 
her as their prosperity grew. They were 
to make nothing themselves, not so much as 
a horseshoe; but to send their raw ma- 
terial to English mills and factories, and 
when it was returned to them in wares and 
manufactured articles, they were to pay 
such taxes as were imposed, with grateful 
hearts to the kind Government which was 
so good as to rule them. 

If the Colonies had still needed the pro- 
tection of England from the French, they 
might never have questioned the propriety 
of their treatment. They were at heart in- 
tensely loyal, and the thought of severance 
from the Mother Country probably did not 
exist in a single breast. But they had since 
the fall of Quebec a feeling of security 
which was a good background for inde- 













r fa 
















• w 































■ — 


























pendence, if their manhood required its as- 
sertion. They were Anglo-Saxons, and per- 
fectly understood the long struggle for civil 
rights which lay behind them. So when in 
1765 they were told that they must hear 
their share of the burden of National Debt 
which had been increased by wars in their 
behalf, and to that end a " Stamp Act" had 
been passed, they very carefully looked into 
the demand. This Act required that every 
legal document drawn in the Colonies, will, 
deed, note, draft, receipt, etc., be written 
upon paper bearing an expensive Govern- 
ment stamp. 

The thirteen Colonies, utterly at variance 
upon most subjects, were upon this agreed : 
They tvoidd not submit to the tax. They 
had read the Magna Charta, they knew that 
the Stamp Act violated its most vital prin- 
ciple. This tax had been framed to extort 
money from men who had no representation, 
in Parliament, hence without their consent. 

Pitt vehemently declared that the Act 
was a tyranny, Burke and Fox protested 
against it, the brain and the heart of Eng- 
land compelled the repeal of the Act; Pitt 


declaring that the spirit shown in America 
was the same that in England had with- 
stood the Stuarts, and refused "Ship 
Money." There was rejoicing and ringing 
of bells over the repeal, but before the 
echoes had died away another plan was 
forming in the narrow recesses of the 
King's brain. 

George III. had read English History. 
He remembered that if Parliaments grow 
obstructive, the way is not to fight them 
but to pack them with the right kind of 
material. Tampering with the boroughs, 
had so filled the House of Commons with 
Tories that it had almost ceased to be a 
representative body, and if Pitt would not 
bow to his wishes, he would find a Minister 
who would. Another tax was devised. 

Threepence a pound upon tea, shipped di- 
rect to America from India, would save the 
impost to England, bring tea at a cheaper 
rate to the Colonies (even with the added 
tax), and at the same time yield a handsome 
revenue to the Government. 

The Colonists were not at all moved by 
the idea of getting cheaper tea. They had 


taken their stand in this matter of taxation 
without representation; they would never 
move from it one inch. When the cargo of 
tea arrived in Boston harbor, it was thrown 
overboard by men disguised as Indians. 

George III. in a rage closed the port of 
Boston, cancelled the Charter of Massa- 
chusetts, withdrew the right of electing its 
own council and judges, investing the Gov- 
ernor with these rights, to whom he also 
gave the power to send rebellious and sedi- 
tious prisoners to England for trial. Then 
to make all this sure of fulfilment, he sent 
troops to enforce the order, in command of 
General Gage, whom he also appointed 
Governor of Massachusetts. 

Fox said, "How intolerable that it should 
be in the power of one blockhead to do so 
much mischief!" The obstinacy of George 
III. cost England her dearest and fairest 
possession. It is almost impossible to pic- 
ture what would be her power to-day if she 
had continued to be mistress of North 
America ! 

All unconscious of his stupendous folly, 
the King was delighted at his own firmness. 


He rubbed his hands in high glee as he said, — 
" The die is cast, the Colonies must submit 
or triumph, " meaning of course that "tri- 
umph" was a thing impossible. Pitt (now 
Earl Chatham), Burke, Fox, even the Tory 
House of Lords, petitioned and implored in 
vain. The confident, stubborn King stood 
alone, and upon him lies the whole respon- 
sibility — Lord North simply acting as his 
compliant tool. 

The colonies united as one, all local differ- 
ences forgotten. As they fought at Lex- 
ington and at Bunker Hill, the idea of some- 
thing more than resistance was born — the 
idea of independence. 

A letter from the Government addressed 
to the Commander-in-Chief as "George 
Washington, Esq. , " was sent back unopened. 
Battles were lost and won, the courage and 
resources of the Americans holding out for 
years as if by miracle, until when rein- 
forced by France the end drew near; and 
was reached with the defeat of Lord Corn- 
wallis at Yorktown. 

It was a dreary morning in 1782 when a 
humiliated King stood before the House of 


Lords and acknowledged the independence 
of the United States of America ! 

Thus ended a contest which the Earl of 
Chatham had said "was conceived in in- 
justice, and nurtured in folly." 

It was during the American war that the 
Press rose to be a great counterbalancing 
power. Popular sentiment no longer find- 
ing an outlet in the House of Commons, 
sought another mode of expression. Public 
opinion gathered in by the newspapers be- 
came a force before which Government 
dared not stand. The "Chronicle," "Post," 
"Herald" and "Times" came into existence, 
philosophers like Coleridge, and statesmen 
like Canning using their columns and com- 
pelling reforms. 

The impeachment of Warren Hastings, 
conducted by Burke, Sheridan, and Fox, led 
to such an exposure of the cruelty and cor 
ruption of the East India Company, that 
the gigantic monopoly was broken up. A 
"Board of Control" was created for the ad- 
ministration of Indian affairs, thus absorb- 
ing it into the general system of English 
Government (1784). 


James Watt had introduced (in 1769) 
steam into the life of England, with conse- 
quences dire at first, and fraught with such 
tremendous results later, changing all the 
industrial conditions of England and of the 

In 1789 England witnessed that terrific 
outburst of human passions in France, which 
culminated in the death of a King and a 
Queen. An appalling sight which made 
Republicanism seem odious, even to so ex- 
alted and just a soul as Burke, who de- 
nounced it with words of thrilling eloquence. 
Then came Napoleon Bonaparte, and his 
swift ascent to imperial power, followed by 
his audacious conquest almost of Europe, 
until Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wel- 
lington, led the allied army at Waterloo, 
and Napoleon's sun went down. 

In 1812 the United States for a second 
time declared war against England. That 
country had claimed the right to search for 
British-born seamen upon American ships, 
in order to impress them into her own ser- 
vice and recruit her Navy. The "right 
of search" was denied, and the British 




i— i 





























• i— i 



4— » 

• ^ 





















4 * 













forces landed in Maryland, burned the Cap- 
itol and Congressional Library at Wash- 
ington, but met their " Waterloo " at New 
Orleans, where they were defeated by Gen- 
eral Andrew Jackson, and the "right of 
search" is heard of no more. 

Long before this time George III. had 
been a prey to blindness, deafnes^, and in- 
sanity, and in 1820 his death came as a 
welcome event. Had he not been blind, 
deaf, and insane, in 1775, England might 
not have lost her fairest possession. 

The weight of the enormous debt incurred 
by the long wars fell m ;st heavily upon the 
poor. One-half of their earnings went to 
the Crown. The poor man lived under a 
taxed roof, wore taxed clothing, ate taxed 
food from taxed dishes, and looked at the 
light of day through taxed window-glass. 
Nothing was free but the ocean. 

But there must not be cheap bread, for 
that meant reduced rents. The farmer was 
"protected" by having the price of corn kept 
artificially above a certain point, and fur- 
ther "protected" by a prohibitory tax upon 
foreign corn, all in order that the landlord 


might collect undiminished rentals from his 
farm lands. But, alas! there was no " pro- 
tection" from starvation. Is it strange that 
gaunt famine was a frequent visitor in the 
land? — But men must starve in silence. — 
To beg was a crime. 

"Alas, that bread should be so dear, 
And flesh and blood so cheap 1" 

Children six years old worked fourteen 
and fifteen hours daily in mines and fac- 
tories, beaten by overseers to keep them 
awake over their tasks; while others five 
and six years old, driven by blows, crawled 
with their brooms into narrow soot-clogged 
chimneys, and sometimes getting wedged 
in narrow flues, were mercifully suffocated 
and translated to a kinder world. 

A ruinous craving was created for stimu- 
lants, which took the place of insufficient 
food, and in these stunted, pallid, emaciated 
beings a foundation was laid for an en- 
feebled and debased population, which 
would sorely tax the wisdom of statesman- 
ship in the future. 

If such was the condition of the honest 


working poor, what was that of the crimi- 
nal 2 It is difficult now to comprehend the fe- 
rocity of laws which made 235 offenses— pun- 
islidble with death, — most of which offenses 
we should now call misdemeanors. But 
perhaps death was better than the prisons, 
which were the abode of vermin, disease 
and filth unspeakable. Jailers asked for no 
pay, but depended upon the money they 
could wring from the wretched beings in 
their charge for food and small alleviations 
to their misery. In 1773 John Howard 
commenced his work in the prisons, and the 
idea was first conceived that the object of 
punishment should be not to degrade sin- 
sick humanity, but to reform it. 

Far above this deep dark undercurrent, 
there was a bright, shining surface. John- 
son had made his ponderous contribution to 
letters. Frances Burney had surprised the 
world with "Evelina;" Horace Walpole, 
(son of Sir Eobert) was dropping witty 
epigrams from his pen; Sheridan, Gold- 
smith, Cowper, Burns, Southey, Coleridge, 
"Wordsworth, in tones both grave and gay, 
were making sweet music; while Scott, 


Byron, Shelley added strains rich and 

As ail this was passing, George Stephen- 
son was pondering over a daring project. 
Fulton had completed his invention in 1807, 
and in 1819 the first steamship had crossed 
the Atlantic. If engines could be made to 
plough through the water, why might they 
not also be made to walk the earth? It 
was thought an audacious experiment when 
he put this fire-devouring iron monster on 
wheels, to draw loaded cars. Not until 1830 
was his plan realized, when his new locomo- 
tive — "The Kocket" — drew the first railway 
train from Liverpool to Manchester, the 
Duke of Wellington venturing his life on 
the trial trip. 

In the year 1782 Ireland was permitted 

to have its own Parliament; but owing to 
conditions which are explained in a later 
chapter, she was deprived of this legisla- 
tive independence, and in 1801, after a pro- 
longed struggle, was reunited to Great 
Britain, and thenceforth sent her represen- 
tatives to the British Parliament. 

The laws against Roman Catholics which 


had been enacted as measures of self-defence 
from the Stuarts, now that there was no 
longer a necessity for them had become an 
oppression, which bore with special weight 
upon Catholic Ireland. By the oath of 
"Supremacy," and by the declarations 
against transubstantiation, intercession of 
Saints, etc., etc., the Catholics were shut 
out from all share in a Government which 
they were taxed to support. Such an ob- 
vious injustice should not have needed a 
powerful pleader ; but it found one in Daniel 
O'Connell, who by constant agitation and 
fiery eloquence created such a public senti- 
ment, that the Ministry, headed by the Duke 
of Wellington, aided by Sir Eobert Peel in 
the House, carried through a measure in 1828 
which opened Parliament to Catholics, and 
also gave them free access to all places of 
trust, Civil or Military, — excepting that of 
Regent, — Lord Chancellor— and Lord Lieu- 
tenant of Ireland. 

There is nothing to record of George IV. 
except the irregularities of his private life, 
over which we need not linger. He was a 
dissolute spendthrift. His illegal marriage 


with Mrs. Fitzherbert, and his legal mar- 
riage with Caroline of Brunswick from 
whom he quickly freed himself, are the 
chief events in his history. 

His charming young daughter, the Prin- 
cess Charlotte, had died in 1817, soon after 
her marriage with Prince Leopold of Saxe- 
Coburg. She had been adored as the future 
Queen, but upon the death of George IV. in 
1830, the Crown passed to his sailor brother 

William IV. was sixty-five when he came 
to the throne. He was not a courtier in his 
manners, nor much of a fine gentleman in 
his tastes. But his plain, rough sincerity 
was not unacceptable, and his immediate 
espousal of the Eeform Act, then pending, 
won him popularity at once. 

The efficiency and integrity of the House 
of Commons had long been impaired by an 
effete system of representation, which had 
been unchanged for 500 years. Boroughs 
were represented which had long disappeared 
from the face of the earth. One had for 
years been covered by the sea! Another 
existed as a fragment of a wall in a gentle- 


man '8 park, while towns like Manchester, 
Leeds, Birmingham, and nineteen other 
large and prosperous places, had no represen- 
tation whatever. These " rotten boroughs' 7 
as they were called, were usually in the 
hands of wealthy landowners; one great 
Peer literally carrying eleven boroughs in 
his pocket, so that eleven members went to 
the House of Commons at his dictation. — It 
would seem that a reform so obviously 
needed should have been easy to accomplish. 
But the House of Lords clung to the old 
system as if the life of the Kingdom de- 
pended upon it. And when the measure 
was finally carried the good old Duke of 
Wellington said sadly, " We must hope for 
the best ; but the most sanguine cannot be- 
lieve we shall ever again be as prosperous." 

By this Act 56 boroughs were disfran- 
chised, and 43 new ones, with 30 county 
constituencies, were created. 

It was in the contest over this Eeform 
Bill that the Tories took the name of " Con- 
servatives" and their opponents "Liberals." 
Its passage marks a most important transi- 
tion in England. The workingman was 


by it enfranchised, and the House of Com- 
mons, which had hitherto represented prop* 
erty, thenceforth represented manhood. 

Nor were political reforms the only ones. 
Human pity awoke from its lethargy. The 
penalties for wrongdoing became less brutal, 
the prisons less terrible. No longer did gap- 
ing crowds watch shivering wretches brought 
out of the jails every Monday morning, in 
batches of twenty and thirty, to be hung for 
pilfering or something even less. Little 
children were lifted out of the mines and 
factories and chimneys and placed in schools, 
which also began to be created for the poor. 
Numberless ways were devised for making 
life less miserable for the unfortunate, and 
for improving the social conditions of toiling 
men and women. 

While white slavery in the collieries and 
factories was thus mitigated, Wilberforce 
removed the stain of negro slavery from 
England in securing the passage of a Bill 
which, while compensating the owners (who 
received £20,000,000), set 800,000 human 
beings free (1833). 


William IV. died at Windsor Castle, and 
at 5 o'clock on the morning of June 20th, 
1837 (just 58 years from the day this is 
written), a young girl of eighteen was 
awakened to be told she was Queen of 
Great Britain and Ireland. Victoria was 
the only child of Edward, Duke of Kent, 
brother of William IV. Her marriage in 
1840 with her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe- 
Coburg, was one of deep affection, and se- 
cured for her a wise and prudent counsellor. 

On account of the high price of corn, Ire- 
land had for years subsisted entirely upon 
potatoes. The failure of this crop for sev- 
eral successive seasons, in 1846 produced a 
famine of such appalling dimensions that 
the old and the new world came to the 
rescue of the starving people. Parliament 
voted £10,000,000 for food. But before re- 


lief could reach them, two millions, one* 
fourth of the population of Ireland, had per- 
ished. The anti-corn measures, championed 
by Eichard Cobden and John Bright, which 
had been bitterly opposed by the Tories 
under the leadership of Disraeli, were thus 
reinforced by unexpected argument; for- 
eign breadstuffs were permitted free access 
and free trade was accepted as the policy of 

Nicholas, the Czar of Eussia, was, after 
the fashion of his predecessors (and his suc- 
cessors), always waiting for the right mo- 
ment to sweep down upon Constantinople. 
England had become only a land of shop- 
keepers, France was absorbed with her new 
Empire, and with trying on her fresh im- 
perial trappings. The time seemed favor- 
able for a move. The pious soul of Nicholas 
was suddenly stirred by certain restrictions 
laid by the Sultan upon the Christians in 
Palestine. He demanded that he be made 
the Protector of Christianity in the Turkish 
Empire, by an arrangement which would 
in fact transfer the Sovereignty from Con- 
stantinople to St. Petersburg. 


That mass of Oriental corruption known 
arf the Ottoman Empire, held together by no 
vital forces, was ready to fall into ruin at 
one vigorous touch. It was an anachronism 
m ^^^dern Europe, where its cruelty was 
onl> limited by its weakness. That such an 
odious, treacherous despotism should so 
strongly appeal to the sympathies of Eng- 
land that she was willing to enter upon a life- 
and-death struggle for its maintenance, let 
those believe who can. — Her rushing to the 
defence of Turkey, was about as sincere as 
Russia's interest in the Christians in Pales- 

The simple truth beneath all these diplo- 
matic subterfuges was of course that Russia 
wanted Constantinople, and England would 
at any cost prevent her getting it. The 
keys to the East must, in any event, not 
belong to Russia, her only rival in Asia. 

France had no Eastern Empire to protect, 
so her participation in the struggle is at first 
not so easy to comprehend, until we reflect 
that she had an ambitious and parvenu 
Emperor. To have Europe see him in con- 
fidential alliance with England, was alono 


worth a war ; while a vigorous foreign pol- 
icy would help to divert attention from the 
recent treacheries by which he had reached 
a throne. 

Such were some of the hidden springs of 
action which in 1854 brought about the 
Crimean War, — one of the most deadly and 
destructive of modern times, Two great 
Christian kingdoms had rushed to the de- 
fence of the worst Government ever known, 
and the best blood in England was being 
poured into Turkish soil. 

It was soon discovered that the English 
were no less skilled as fighters, than as 
"shop-keepers." They were victorious from 
the very first, even when the numbers were 
ill-matched. But one immortal deed of valor 
must have made Russia tremble before the 
spirit it revealed. 

Six hundred cavalrymen, in obedience to 
an order which all knew was a blunder, 
dashed into a valley lined with cannon, and 
charged an army of 30,000 men ! 

" Forward, the Light Brigade ! " 
Was there a man dismay 'd? 
Not tho' the soldier knew 
Some one had blunder'd : 


Their' s not to make reply, 
Their's not to reason why, 
Their's but to do, and die : 
Into the valley of Death 
Rode the six hundred* 

The horrible blunder at Balaklava was 
Hot the only one. One incapable general 
was followed by another, and routine and 
red-tape were more deadly than Kussian 
shot and shell. 

Food and supplies beyond their utmost 
power of consumption, were hurried to the 
army by grateful England. Thousands of 
tons of wood for huts, shiploads of clothing 
and profuse provision for health and com- 
fort, reached Balaklava. 

While the tall masts of the ships bearing 
these treasures were visible from the heights 
of Sebastopol, men there were perishing for 
lack of food, fuel and clothing. In rags, al- 
most barefoot, half-fed, often without fuel 
even to cook their food, in that terrible 
winter on the heights, whole regiments of 
heroes became extinct, because there was 
not sufficient administrative ability to con- 
vey the supplies to a perishing army ! 

So wretched was the hospital service, that 


to be sent there meant death. Gangrene car- 
ried off four out of five. Men were dying 
at a rate which would have extinguished 
the entire army in a year and a half. It 
was Florence Nightingale who Tedeemed 
this national disgrace, and brought order, 
care and healing into the camps. 

When England recalls with pride the 
valor and the victories in the Crimea, let 
her remember it was the manhood in the 
ranks which achieved it. When all was 
over, war had slain its thousands, — but 
official incapacity its tens of thousands ! 

It was a costly victory: Kussia was hu- 
miliated, was even shut out from the waters 
of her own Black Sea, where she had hitherto 
been supreme. To two million Turks was 
preserved the privilege of oppressing eight 
million Christians; and for this, — twenty 
thousand British youth had perished. But — 
the way to India was unobstructed ! 

England's career of conquest in India 
was not altogether of her own seeking. As 
a neighboring province committed outrages 
upon its British neighbors, it became neces- 
sary in self-defence to punish it ; and such 


punishment, invariably led to its subjuga- 
tion. In this way one province after an- 
other was subdued, until finally in the absorp- 
tion of the Kingdom of Oude (1856) the 
natural boundary of the Himalaya Moun- 
tains had been reached, and the conquest 
was complete. The little trading company 
of British merchants had become an Em- 
pire, vast and rich beyond the wildest 
dreams of romance. 

The British rule was upon the whole be- 
neficent. The condition of the people was 
improved, and there was little dissatisfac- 
tion except among the deposed native 
princes, who were naturally filled with hate 
and bitterness. The large army required to 
hold such an amount of territory, was to a 
great extent recruited from the native pop- 
ulation, the Sepoys, as they were called, 
making good soldiers. 

In 1857 the King of the Oude and some 
of the native princes cunningly devised a 
plan of undermining the British by means 
of their Sepoys, and circumstances afforded 
a singular opportunity for carrying out 
their design 


A new rifle had been adopted, which re- 
quired a greased cartridge, for which ani- 
mal grease was used. The Sepoys were told 
this was a deep-laid plot to overthrow their 
native religions. The Mussulman was to be 
eternally lost by defiling his lips with the 
fat of swine, and the Hindu, by the indig- 
nity offered to the venerated Cow. These 
English had tried to ruin them not alone in 
this world, but in the next. 

Thrilled with horror, terror-stricken, the 
dusky soldiers were converted into demons. 
Mutinies arose simultaneously at twenty-two 
stations; not only officers, but Europeans, 
were slaughtered without mercy. At 
Cawnpore was the crowning horror. After 
a siege of many days the garrison capitu- 
lated to Nana Sahib and his Sepoys. The 
officers were shot, and their wives, daugh- 
ters, sisters and babes, 206 in number, were 
shut up in a large apartment which had 
been used by the ladies for a ballroom. 

After eighteen days of captivity, the hor- 
rors of which will never be known, five men 
with sabres, in the twilight, were seen to 
enter the room and close the door. There 


were wild cries and shrieks and groans. 
Three times a hacked and a blunted sabre 
was passed out of a window in exchange for 
a sharper one. Finally the groans and 
moans gradually ceased and all was still. 
The next morning a mass of mutilated re- 
mains was thrown into an empty well. 

Two days later the avenger came in the 
person of General Havelock. The Sepoys 
were conquered and a policy of merciless 
retribution followed. 

In that well at Cawnpore was forever 
buried sympathy for the mutinous Indian. 
When we recall that, we can even hear 
with calmness of Sepoys fired from the can- 
non's mouth. From that moment it was 
the cause of men in conflict with demons, 
civilization in deadly struggle with cruel, 
treacherous barbarism. We cannot advo- 
cate meeting atrocity with atrocity, nor can 
we forget that it was a Christian nation 
fighting with one debased and infidel. But 
terrible surgery is sometimes needed to ex- 
tirpate disease. 

Greed for territory, and wrong, and in- 
justice may have mingled with the acquisi- 


tion of an Indian Empire, but posterity will 
see only a majestic uplifting of almost a 
quarter of the human family from debased 
barbarism, to a Christian civilization; and 
all through the instrumentality of a little 
band of trading settlers from a small far- 
off island in the northwest of Europe. 

But there were other things besides fam- 
ine and wars taking place in the Kingdom 
of the young Queen. A greater and a sub- 
tler force than steam had entered into the 
life of the people. A miracle had happened 
in 1858, when an electric wire threaded its 
way under the Atlantic, and two continents 
conversed as friends sitting hand in hand. 

Another miracle had then just been 
achieved in the discovery of certain chem- 
ical conditions, by which scenes and objects 
would imprint themselves in minutest detail 
upon a prepared surface. A sort of magic 
seemed to have entered into life, quickening 
and intensifying all its processes. Enlarged 
knowledge opened up new theories of dis- 
ease and created a new Art of healing. 
Surgery, with its unspeakable anguish, was 


rendered painless by anesthetics. Mechan- 
ical invention was so stimulated that all the 
processes of labor were quickened and im- 

In 1851 the Prince Consort conceived the 
idea of a great Exposition, which should 
under one roof gather all the fruits of this 
marvellous advance, and Sydenham Palace, 
a gigantic structure of glass and iron, was 

In literature, Tennyson was preserving 
English valor in immortal verse. Thack- 
eray and Dickens, in prose as immortal, 
were picturing the social lights and shad- 
ows of the Victorian Age. 

In 1861 a crushing blow fell upon the 
Queen in the death of the Prince Con- 
sort. America treasures kindly memory of 
Prince Albert, on account of his outspoken 
friendship in the hour of her need. Dur- 
ing the war of the Eebellion, while the fate 
of our country seemed hanging in the bal- 
ance, we had few friends in England, where 
people seemed to look with satisfaction 
upon our probable dismemberment. 


We are not likely to forget the three 
shining exceptions: — Prince Albert — John 
Bright — and John Stuart Mill. 

It was while that astute diplomatist, Dis- 
raeli (Lord Beaconsfield) was Prime Min- 
ister, that French money, skill and labor 
opened up the waterway between the Med- 
iterranean and the Red Sea. It would 
never do to have France command such a 
strategic point on the way to the East. 
England was alert. She lost not a moment. 
The impecunious Khedive was offered by 
telegraph $20,000,000 for his interest in the 
Suez Canal, nearly one-half of the whole 
capital stock. The offer was accepted with 
no less alacrity than it was made. So with 
the Arabian Port of Aden, which she al- 
ready possessed, and with a strong enough 
financial grasp upon impoverished Egypt 
to secure the right of way, should she need 
it, England had made the Canal which 
France had dug, practically her own. 

Lord Beaconsfield had crowned his dra- 
matic and picturesque Ministerial career 
by placing a new diadem on the head of the 
































• l-H 









• 1— ( 














































■ — 






• • 










i— i 












• p— ( 













widowed Queen, who was now Empress of 
India. His successor, William Ewart Glad- 
stone, the great leader of the Liberal party, 
was content with a less showy field. He 
had in 1869 relieved Ireland from the un- 
just burden of supporting a Church the 
tenets of which she considered blasphem- 
ous; and one which her own, the Roman 
Catholic, had for three centuries been try- 
ing to overthrow. We cannot wonder that 
the memory of a tyranny so odious is not 
easily effaced; nor that there is less grati- 
tude for its removal, than bitterness that it 
should so long have been. It is certainly 
true that the disestablishment of the Eng- 
lish Church in Ireland was one of the most 
righteous acts of this reign. 

The Irish question is such a tangled web 
of wrong and injustice complicated by folly 
and outrage, that the wisest and best-inten- 
tioned statesmanship is baffled. Whether 
the conditions would be improved by giving 
them their own Parliament, could only be 
determined by experiment; and that experi- 
ment England is not yet willing to try. 


ing in the East. And clouds began to 
gather over the Dutch Colonists, as they 
saw their solitude invaded by Old- World 
currents. Perhaps the irritation from this 
made them quarrelsome ; for temper and 
temperament have been two most important 
factors in the story of the Dutch in South 
Africa. At all events, there were various 
outbreaks and insurrections, becoming at 
last so serious that the English Govern- 
ment felt impelled to aid in their suppres- 
sion. And this they did so effectually that 
after a battle with the local forces in 1806, 
they were virtual rulers of Cape Colony, 
which, in 1814, upon the payment of six 
million pounds to the Stadtholder, was for- 
mally ceded to Great Britain. 

So, by right of conquest, and by right of 
purchase, England had come into posses- 
sion (although at the time unaware of it) 
of the greatest diamond mines, and the rich- 
est gold mines in the world. And it had 
turned out that the Dutch Colonists for 
a century and a half had been subduing 
man and nature simply to enrich the Eng- 


lisli ; and in return they were expected to 
live contentedly and peaceably in the land 
they had made habitable for human occupa- 

Thus two contrasting people had been 
carelessly and hastily tossed together. The 
most conservative and the most progressive 
of nationalities were expected to fuse their 
uncompromising traits into a harmonious 
whole. The result should have been easy to 
foresee. The Dutch, coerced into this union, 
with embittered hearts and deep sense of in- 
jury, after twenty unhappy, stormy years, 
determined to escape. They would cross 
the Orange River into the wilderness and 
there build up another State, which should 
be forever their own. And so, in the year 
1835, there occurred what is known as " The 
Great Trek," when about thirty thousand 
men and women, like swarming bees, mi- 
grated in a body into the region north of 
of the Orange River, later spreading east 
as far as the coast in what is now " Natal," 
the whole region then bearing the signifi- 
cant title : " The Orange Free State." 


In the terms of the purchase, in 1814, not 
a word had been said about this Hinterland, 
the vast region stretching indefinitely to- 
wards the north ; and here was the germ of 
all the trouble that was to come. Through 
an oversight there existed a serious flaw in 
the British title, which would severely tax 
statesmanship, diplomacy, and perhaps 
strain national morality to the breaking 
point. Had this people the right, or had 
they not the right to plant a State bearing 
a foreign flag, which should effectually bar 
the path to the north? Should the English 
Government allow a people fiercely antago- 
nistic to itself to build up an unfriendly 
State on its border? Such were the ques- 
tions which arose then, and which have 
been variously answered since, depending 
upon the point of view. 

If the question had been what would hap- 
pen, there would have been greater una- 
nimity in the replies! And, it must be ac- 
knowledged, however uncertain the claim 
to this disputed region, that the interests 
of civilization were more to be subserved by 


British than by Dutch Sovereignty in South 

The policies of these two people were ab- 
solutely opposed; and it was upon the 
question of the emancipation of the slaves, 
at the time of the Emancipation Act, in 1835, 
that the final rupture and secession took 
place. These slaves constituted a large 
part of the property of the Boers; and 
great was their indignation when they were 
compelled to accept from the British Gov- 
ernment a compensation for their property 
so far below their own appraisal of its 
value that it seemed to them a confiscation. 

Then it was that they resolved to break 
away from their oppressors, and go where 
they could make their own laws, and follow 
their own ideals of right and wrong. And 
so they turned their backs upon the scene 
of their long toil. 

In this strange exodus not the least im- 
portant person, though unobserved then, was 
a sturdylittle fellow ten years old, energetic- 
ally doing his part in rounding up the cattle 
and flocks as he trudged along beside the 


huge oxcarts. His name was Paul Stepha- 
rms Kruger. And this little man also took 
his first lesson in military exploits when 
one hundred and thirty-five Boer farmers, 
by ingenious use of horses and rifles, put 
to flight twelve thousand Metabeli spears- 
men. But again the Boer was only clearing 
the way for British occupation, which, com- 
mencing at Natal in 1842, had, by 1848, ex- 
tended over the entire Orange Free State. 
And then there was another trek. Again 
the Boers migrated, this time crossing the 
Eiver Vaal, and founding a " Transvaal 

In the history of the next thirty years 
we see not a vacillating, but rather a ten- 
tative policy, behind which was always an 
inflexible purpose to establish British rule 
in South Africa, peaceably, if possible, or 
by force, if compelled. The British Gov- 
ernment was trying to bring to terms the 
most intractable race it had ever dealt with 
in all its colonizing experience. The thing 
which embarrassed the English was that 
flaw in their claim; and the trouble with 


the Boers was that they were archaic in 
their ideals, and obstructive to all policies 
which belonged to a modern civilization. 
They had stopped growing when they left 
Holland. The emancipation and the phil- 
anthropies forced upon them by a people 
who were stealing their land, exasperated 
them, and outraged their sense of justice; 
and when the English punished them for 
cruelties to the native savages, by executing 
four Boers, vitriol was poured upon an 
open wound, and peace was forever impos- 

In 1852 England, in placating mood, 
yielded the local control of the Orange Free 
State and the Transvaal Eepublic. But in 
less than five years the Boers had thrown 
away their opportunity by strife and dis- 
cord among themselves, and had separated 
into four small hostile Republics, which 
Paul Stephanus Kruger, then President of 
the Transvaal, was vainly striving to bring 
together. The only time they were not at 
war with each other was when they were all 
fighting the natives, with whom they never 
established friendly relations. Perhaps it 


is asking too much of a people so many 
times emptied from one region into another, 
to have established internal conditions, eco- 
nomic and political, such as belong to or- 
dinary civilized states. But the condition 
of disorder had become such that the Brit- 
ish Government believed, or at least claimed 
to believe, that as a measure of safety to 
their own Colonies, the Transvaal should be 
annexed to the Colony at the Cape. 

The people were cautiously approached 
upon this subject, and even some of the 
leaders among the burghers advocated the 
measure as the best, and, indeed, only thing 
possible in the present state of demoraliza- 

So, in 1877, the annexation was effected. 
The Transvaal Republic was taken under 
the sovereignty of Queen Victoria. 

By a treaty drawn up in 1881, it was de- 
clared to be a self-governing, although not 
an independent State. In all its foreign re- 
lations it was subject to the Suzerainty of 
Her Majesty Queen Victoria. In other 
words, it was a vassal State. 


In that one word Suzerain there lurked 
the germ of a great war. In a revision of 
the terms of agreement made by the British, 
in 1884, this word, which was to play such 
an important part was omitted ; whether by 
accident or design cannot be said. But the 
Executive Council of the Kepublic saw 
their opportunity, and claimed that the 
omission of the word was virtually a re- 
linquishment of the claim, and an admis- 
sion that the South African Republic was 
an independent and sovereign State. 

Lord Derby, Minister of Foreign Af- 
fairs, replied that no such significance 
•could be attached to the omission in the 
amended treaty; that the word Suzerain 
was not employed simply because it was 
vague and indefinite in its meaning ; where- 
as, the rights claimed by the British were 
not vague, but precise and definite. These 
distinctlv forbade the South African Re- 
public from concluding any treaty with a 
foreign power. And as such power teas 
vested in the Queen, as a matter of course 
it followed that the South African Repub- 


lie was not a sovereign and independent 

While this diplomatic controversy was 
proceeding, other and less formal agencies 
were at work. The Transvaal, rich in re- 
sources beyond all expectation, was being 
developed by British capital, without which 
nothing could have been done. The Uit- 
landers, (or"Outlanders"),as these English- 
born men were called, complained that, in- 
stead of cooperating with them in this la- 
bor, which must result in the common good, 
everything possible was done to embarrass 
and paralyze their efforts. Chief among 
the long list of grievances was the claim 
that, while they were the principal tax- 
payers, they were denied representation, 
and that as they furnished the capital for 
all the financial enterprises, it was but fair 
that they should have the franchise which 
was stubbornly withheld from them. 

Out of these conditions came the " Jame- 
son Baid," the most discreditable incident 
in the whole South African story ; an inci- 
dent which cast a cloud of suspicion over 


the entire British attitude, and enlisted 
wide-spread sympathy for the Boers. Un- 
der the leadership of Dr. Jameson, a gentle- 
man closely associated with Cecil Rhodes 
in the South African Chartered Company, 
an attempt was made to overthrow the 
Kruger Government, and, to obtain by force 
the redress denied by peaceable means. 

When a revolt rises to the plane of a 
revolution it becomes respectable. The 
" Jameson Raid " never reached that ele- 
vation. In less than four days the entire 
force had surrendered and the leaders were 
under arrest. The attempt upon Johannes- 
burg, and the acts of violence attending it, 
were denounced in unmeasured terms by 
the British Government. Dr. Jameson and 
his chief abettors were tried in England, 
and sentenced to various terms of imprison- 
ment; four other prominent leaders — one 
of them an American — had sentence of 
death passed upon them by a judge from 
the Orange Free State, which was finally 
remitted upon the payment of a large sum 
to the South African Republic. England 


did lier best to rehabilitate her name in the 
estimation of the world; and when the de- 
plorable affair was over, it had done im- 
mense injury to the English cause, and 
benefited not a little that of the Republic. 

Diplomatic negotiations were then re- 
sumed; Sir Alfred Milner presenting the 
British view, urged the propriety of grant- 
ing to foreign-born residents the franchise ; 
also the abolishment of certain monopolies 
which pressed heavily upon the miners, and 
last, but not least, that the sovereignty of 
Great Britian over the Transvaal, receive 
official recognition. 

This latter President Kruger flatly re- 
jected, upon the ground that the question 
of sovereignty had already been disposed 
of in 1884, when Great Britain virtually 
abandoned the claim by omitting the word 
Suzerain, or any reference to what it im- 
plied, from the amended agreement; offer- 
ing at the same time to submit the other 
demands to arbitration. 

On October 9, 1899, while Mr. Cham- 
berlain was preparing new proposals, an 


ultimatum was received from President 
Kruger, demanding an affirmative answer 
within forty-eight hours; failing in which, 
it would be considered a virtual declaration 
of war. Sir Alfred Milner replied : " You 
will inform your Government that the con- 
ditions demanded are such as Her Ma- 
jesty's Government deem it impossible to 

On the afternoon of October 11th, the 
war had commenced, with General Buller 
in command of the British forces, and 
General Joubert, aided by General Cronje, 
commanding the Boers. 

Before November 2d three serious en- 
gagements had taken place, and the Eng- 
lish had been compelled to fall back upon 
their base of supplies at Ladysmith, where, 
after an ineffectual sortie on October 30th, 
they were surrounded and their communi- 
cations cut off. 

The campaign continued to be a story of 
humiliating defeats until December, when 
Lord Roberts assumed supreme command, 
with Lord Kitchener as his chief of staff. 


England thoroughly aroused was sending 
men and supplies in unstinted measure for 
the great emergency, and the world looked 
on in amazement as 200,000 British soldiers 
under the greatest British commanders 
were kept at bay for something less than 
three years by 30,000 untrained Boers. 
The British Government had forgotten 
that these South African colonists were 
the children of a French Huguenot an- 
cestry which had defied Louis XIV., and of 
the men who cut the dykes when the Neth- 
erlands were invaded by that same tyrant. 
Some one had wittily said that no mem- 
ber of the Cabinet should be allowed to 
cast his vote for the war, until he had 
read Motley's " Eise of the Dutch Repub- 
lic.' ' And, indeed, it appeared to many 
that the view of the Government was fo- 
cussed upon one single point, the establish- 
ing of British authority at any cost in 
South Africa. At the same time many 
eminent Englishmen believed it was not 
to be expected that a community so long 
established in a home of its own choos- 


ing, should upon demand be ready to be- 
stow upon foreigners all the rights of citi- 
zenship; and many also believed that the 
grievances of the " Outlanders " were not 
greater than ordinarily existed when a mass 
of foreign immigrants were pressing in 
upon a people who suspected and disliked 
them. The sympathy of foreign states was 
strongly with the Boers; and in England 
itself the cause evoked a languid enthusi- 
asm, until aroused by disaster, and until 
the pride of the nation was touched by loss 
of prestige. The danger, the enormous dif- 
ficulties to be overcome, the privations and 
suffering of their boys, these were the 
things which awoke the dormant enthusi- 
asm in the heart of the nation. And when 
the only son of Lord Roberts had been of- 
fered as a sacrifice, and then a son of Lord 
Dufferin, and then, Prince Victor, October 
29, 1900, grandson of the Queen herself, 
the cause had become sacred, and one for 
which any loyal Briton would be willing 
to die. 
By September 1, 1900, the Orange Free 


State and the Transvaal had been for- 
mally proclaimed by Lord Roberts, " Col- 
onies of the British Empire." 

This was the beginning of the end, and 
when the victorious commander (December 
2, 1900) arrived in England amid the plau- 
dits of a grateful nation, the victory was 
practically won, and the time was at hand 
when not far from twenty thousand British 
soldiers would be lying under the sod six 
thousand miles away, in a land, which no 
longer disputed the sovereignty of Eng- 

We have yet to see whether the South 
African colonial possessions have been paid 
for too dearly, with nine fierce Kaffir wars 
(another threatening as this is written), 
and the blood of princes, peers, and com- 
moners poured as if it were water into 
the African soil. Is England richer or 
poorer for this outpouring of blood and 
treasure? Has she risen or fallen in the 
estimation of the world, as she uncovers 
her stores of gold and diamonds among 
those valiant but defeated Boers, sullenly 


brooding over the past, with no love in their 

Not the least pitiful incident in the whole 
story was the voluntary exile of the man 
who had been the brain and soul of the 
South African Eepublics. Indeed, the life 
of Paul Kruger, from the day when he 
trudged beside the bullocks at the time of 
the great northward trek, until he died a 
disappointed, embittered old man, a fugi- 
tive and an exile, seems an epitome of the 
cause to which his life was devoted. 

No story of this war, however brief, can 
omit the name of De Wet, the most dis- 
tinguished of the Boer generals, and per- 
haps the one genius, certainly the most ro- 
mantic figure in the whole drama. It was 
De Wet's faculty for disappearing and re- 
appearing at unexpected place and mo- 
ment which prolonged the war even after 
the end was inevitable, thus justifying the 
title " Three Years' War," which he gave to 
a subsequent history of the conflict. 

The dedication to this book bears pa- 
thetic testimony to the character of the 


man : " This work is dedicated to my fel- 
low-subjects of the British Empire." When 
one reflects what these words meant for De 
Wet, one is inclined to believe that his 
highest heroism was not attained on the 
battle field! 


In less than three weeks after the return 
of Lord Roberts, and the agitating inter- 
view for which she had been impatiently 
waiting, England's beloved Queen suc- 
cumbed to a brief illness, and died January 
22, 1901. 

Her son Albert Edward was immediately 
proclaimed King of Great Britain and Ire- 

The change of Sovereigns has not mate- 
rially altered the course of events in the 
Empire. The King, with much dignity and 
seriousness, assumed the responsibilities of 
his great inheritance, and England seems 
to be in safekeeping. The terms finally 
agreed upon at the Peace Conference, in 
May, 1902, bear the signature of Edward 
Rex, instead of Victoria Regina — a sig- 


nature that peace-loving Sovereign would 
so gladly have affixed. 

In the year 1904 a British military force 
entered the hitherto sacred domain of Tibet 
with the avowed purpose of obtaining re- 
dress from Tibetan authorities for having 
violated a commercial agreement made be- 
tween China and British India in 1893; 
which convention was binding upon Tibet 
as a vassal State to China. In addition to 
this, a letter from the Viceroy of India to 
the Grand Lama, had been returned un- 
opened, which, it was claimed, was an insult 
to the King he represents. 

The time selected for this hostile demon- 
stration, when the Eusso-Japanese War 
fully engaged the attention of the nations 
chiefly interested, was, to say the least, sig- 
nificant ; and some were so unkind as to in- 
sinuate that the recently discovered mineral 
wealth of this lofty plateau — "this Koof 
of the World" — was, like that of the 
Transvaal in South Africa, a factor in this 
sudden romantic adventure. 

Nature has guarded well this home of 


mystery ; a vast plateau, from 10,000 to 15,- 
000 feet above the sea-level is held aloft 
upon the giant shoulders of the Himalaya, 
surrounded by deep valleys filled in with 
the detritus of an older world. This inac- 
cessible spot is the home of the Grand 
Lama, the earthly representative of 
Buddha, and Lhassa is the Holy City 
where this sacred being resides, a city 
never profaned by infidel feet until the 
morning of August 4, 1904, when it fell, 
and was desecrated by the presence of red- 
coated soldiers, and the blare of military 
bands, and still worse the plundering of 
treasure-houses and monasteries. 

It was a rude awakening from the slum- 
ber of centuries! The Western mind can 
scarcely realize how seriously this has 
wounded the sensibilities of millions of 
people throughout the East; and the ques- 
tion arises whether England may not some 
day have to pay more dearly than now ap- 
pears for the concessions she has obtained. 

The treaty in its early form throws light 
upon the results expected when the expedi- 


tion was planned. It bound the Tibetan 
authorities to establish British markets at 
certain designated points; and stipulated 
that, without the consent of Great Britain, 
no Tibetan territory could be leased to any 
foreign power. Of course many people 
could see in this the ultimate purpose of a 
British occupation of Tibet, and an open 
way to the Yangtse Valley ! 

But with the Russo-Japanese War over, 
and Russia free to exert her control over 
China, a stand was taken by the Chinese 
Government which has resulted in modify- 
ing the terms of the treaty, which has 
recently been signed at Pekin, by which 
Great Britain affirms that she does not 
seek for herself any privileges which are 
denied to any other state or the subjects 

Two very important measures have been 
under consideration during the new reign; 
one of these seeming to have afforded a so- 
lution for the Land-problem in Ireland, 
which has for so long been the nightmare 
of British politics. Further details of this 


will be found in the " History of Ireland," 
separately treated in this volume. 

The other measure deals with the ques- 
tion of Education, and is an attempt to 
solve to the satisfaction of Nonconform- 
ists, Catholics, Church-of-England people, 
and people of no church at all, whether 
there shall be any religious instruction in 
the schools for which all are taxed, and if 
so what shall be its nature and restrictions. 

The tendency since 1870 has been stead- 
ily toward the method adopted by the 
United States, i. e., a severance of the civil 
community from all responsibility for re- 
ligious teaching. And such is the tendency 
of the Bill now before the House of Lords. 
But it is believed that that conservative 
body will hesitate long before giving up 
such a cherished and time-encrusted prin- 
ciple as is involved. 

So many Parliamentary reforms have 
been accomplished since the time they com- 
menced in 1832, the time seems not far dis- 
tant when there will be little more for Lib- 
erals to urge, or for Conservatives and the 


House of Lords to obstruct. Monarchy is 
absolutely shorn of its dangers. The House 
of Commons, which is the actual ruling 
power of the Kingdom, is only the expres- 
sion of the popular will. 

We are accustomed to regard American 
freedom as the one supreme type. But it is 
not. The popular will in England reaches 
the springs of Government more freely, 
more swiftly, and more imperiously, than 
it does in Republican America. It comes as 
a stern mandate, which must be obeyed on 
the instant. The King of England has less 
power than the President of the United 
States. The President can form a definite 
policy, select his own Ministry to carry it 
out, and to some extent have his own way 
for four years, whether the people like it or 
not. The King cannot do this for a day. 
His Ministry cannot stand an hour, with a 
policy disapproved by the Commons. Not 
since Anne has a sovereign refused signa- 
ture to an Act of Parliament. The Georges, 
and William IV., continued to exercise the 
power of dismissing Ministers at their 


pleasure. But since Victoria, an unwritten 
law forbids it, and with this vanishes the 
last remnant of a personal Government. 
The end long sought is attained. 

The history of no other people affords 
such an illustration of a steadily progres- 
sive national development from seed to 
blossom, compelled by one persistent force. 
Freedom in England has not been wrought 
by cataclysm as in France, but has un- 
folded like a plant from a life within; im- 
peded and arrested sometimes, but pa- 
tiently biding its time, and then steadily 
and irresistibly pressing outward; one leaf 
after another freeing itself from the de- 
taining force. Only a few more remain to 
be unclosed, and we shall behold the con- 
summate flower of fourteen centuries; — 
centuries in which the most practical nation 
in the world has steadily pursued an ideal — 
the ideal of individual freedom subordi- 
nated only to the good of the whole ! 


The history of prehistoric Ireland as told 
in ancient chronicles, easily proves the 
Irish to be the oldest nation in Europe, 
mingling their story with those not alone of 
Egypt, Troy, Greece, and Rome, but with 
that of Noah and the antediluvian world. 
Who was the Lady Csesair, who fled with 
her household to Ireland from the coming 
deluge after being refused shelter by Noah? 
and who Nemehd, the next colonist from the 
East, who heads the royal procession of one 
hundred and eighteen kings ? and who, above 
all, is Milesius, who comes fresh from the 
lingual disaster at Shinar, the divinely ap- 
pointed ruler, bringing with him his Egyp- 
tian wife Scota (Pharaoh's daughter) and her 
son Gael? and who that other son Heber, 
whose name was given to the original lingua 
humana (the Hebrew), in honor of his efforts 
to prevent the blasphemous building of Ba- 


bel % For what do these shadowy figures 
stand, looming out of formless mist and chaos, 
and bestowing their names as imperishable 
memorials 1 — Scotia, Scots, Gaelic, — the 
word Gaelic in its true significance includ- 
ing Ireland and Scotland. Even the name 
Fenian takes on a venerable dignity when 
we learn that Fenius, the Scythian King, 
and father of Milesius, established the first 
university — a sort of school of languages 
— for the study of the seventy-two new vari- 
eties of human speech, appointing seventy- 
two wise men to master this new and trouble- 
some branch of human knowledge ! We are 
told that Heber and Heremon, the sons of 
Milesius, finally divided the island between 
them, and then, after the fashion of Ro- 
mulus, Heber drove the factious Heremon 
over the sea into the land of the Picts, and 
reigned alone over the Scots in Ireland. 

The sober truth seems to be that Ireland, 
at a very early period, was known to the 
Greeks as Ierne (from which comes Erin), 
and later to the Romans as Hibernia. At a 
very remote time it seems to have been colon- 
ized by Greek and other Eastern peoples, 
who left a deep impress upon the Celtic race 


already inhabiting the island ; but an im- 
press upon the mind, not the life, of the 
Celts, for no vestige of Greek or other civili- 
zation, except in language and in ideals, has 
ever been found in Ireland. The only archaeo- 
logical remains are cromlechs, which tell of 
a Druidical worship, and the round towers, 
belonging to a much later period, whose 
purpose is only conjectured. 

Ireland's Aryan parentage is plainly in- 
dicated in its primitive social organization 
and system of laws. The family was the 
social unit, and the clan or sept was only 
a larger family. Pre-Christian Ireland was 
divided into live septs : Munster, Connaught, 
Ulster, Leinster, and Meath. Each of these 
tribal divisions was governed by a chief 
or king, who was the head of the clan (or 
family). Among these, the chief-king, or 
Ard JReagJi, resided at Tara in Meath, and 
received allegiance from the other four, with 
no jurisdiction, however, over the internal 
affairs of the other kingdoms. There was a 
perpetual strife between the clans. Outside 
of one's own tribal limits was the enemy's 
country. The business of life was maraud- 
ing and plundering, and the greatest hero 


was lie who could accomplish these things 
by deeds of the greatest daring. 

All alike lived under a simple code of laws 
administered by a hereditary class of jurists 
called Brehons. All offences were punish- 
able by a system of fines called erics. The 
land was owned by the clan. Primogeniture 
was unknown, and the succession to the 
office of chief was determined by the clan, 
which had power to select any one within 
the family lines as Tanist or successor. This 
in "Brehon Law" is known as the "law of 
Tanistry," and was closely interwoven with 
the later history of Ireland. But the class 
more exalted than kings or brehons was the 
Bards. These were inspired singers, before 
whom Brehons quailed and kings meekly 
bowed their heads. 

During the Roman occupation of Britain 
in which that country was Christianized, 
pagan Ireland heard nothing of the new 
evangel almost at her door. But in 432, after 
Britain had relapsed into paganism, St. Pat- 
rick came into the darkened isle. If ever 
Pentecostal fires descended upon a nation it 
was in those sixty years during which one 
saintly man transformed a people from brut- 


isli paganism to Christianity, and converted 
Ireland into the torch-bearer and nourisher 
of intellectual and spiritual life, so that as 
the gothic night was settling upon Europe, 
the centre of illumination seemed to be pass- 
ing from Rome to Ireland. Their missionaries 
were in Britain, Germany, Gaul ; and students 
from Charlemagne's dominions, and the sons 
of kings from other lands, flocked to those 
stone monasteries, the remains of which are 
still to be seen upon the Irish coast, and 
which were then the acknowledged centres of 
learning in Europe. It was not until late in 
the ninth century that Ireland played a truly 
great part in European history. Rome be- 
came jealous of these fiery Christians ; they 
had never worn her yoke, and concerned 
themselves little about the Pope. They had 
their own views about the shape of the ton- 
sure, and also their own time for celebrating 
Easter, which was heretical and contuma- 
cious, and there began a struggle between 
Roman and Western Christianity. The pas- 
sion for art and letters which accompanied 
this spiritual birth makes this, indeed, a 
Golden Age. But the painting of missals, 
and study of Greek poetry and philosophy, 


brought no change in the life of the people. 
It was for the learned, and a subject for just 
pride in retrospect. But the Christianized 
septs fought each other as before, and life 
was no less wild and disordered than it had 
always been. 

In the eighth century the first viking ap- 
peared. It was then that a master-spirit 
arose, a man of the clan of O'Brien — Brian 
Boru. He drove out the Danes, usurped the 
place of Chief -King, and reigned in the Halls 
of Tara for a few years, then left his land to 
lapse once more into a chaos of fighting clans. 
But it was Dermot, the King of Leinster, 
whose fatal quarrel led to the subjugation of 
the land to England. The Irish epic, like 
that of Troy, has its Paris and Helen. If 
that fierce old man had not fallen in love 
with the wife of the Lord of Brefny and car- 
ried her away, there might have been a dif- 
ferent story to tell. The injured husband 
made war upon him, in which the Chief- 
King took part, and so hot was it made for 
the wife-stealer, that he offered to place Lein- 
ster at the feet of Henry II. in return for as- 
sistance. A party of adventurous barons, 
led by Strongbow, the Earl of Pembroke, 


rushed to Dermot's rescue, defeated the 
Chief-King, drove the Danes out of Dublin, 
which they had founded, and took posses- 
sion of that city themselves. Henry II. fol- 
lowed up the unauthorized raid of his barons 
with a well-equipped army, which he him- 
self led, landing upon the Irish coast in 

The conquest was soon complete, and 
Henry proceeded to organize his new terri- 
tory, dividing it into counties, and setting 
up law-courts at Dublin, which was chosen 
as the Seat of his Lord-Deputy. The system 
of English law was established for the use 
of the Norman barons and English settlers, 
the natives being allowed to live under their 
old system of Brehon laws. Henry gave 
huge grants of land with feudal rights to his 
barons, then returned to his own troubled 
kingdom, leaving them to establish their 
claims and settle accounts with the Irish 
chieftains as best they could. The sword 
was the argument used on both sides, and 
a conflict between the brehon and feudal 
systems had commenced which still contin- 
ues in Ireland. If Henry had expected to 
convert Irishmen into Englishmen, he had 


miscalculated ; it was the reverse which 
happened — the Norman-English were slowly 
but surely converted into Irishmen, and two 
elements were thereafter side by side, the 
Old Irish and the Anglo-Irish, who, however 
antagonistic, had always a certain commun- 
ity of interest which drew them together in 
great emergencies. 

It is an easy task to describe a storm 
which has one centre. But how is one to 
describe the confused play of forces in a 
cyclone which has centres within centres ? 
Irish chieftains at war with Irish chieftains, 
jealous Norman barons with Norman bar- 
ons, all at the same time in deadly struggle 
with O'Neills, O'Connells, and O'Briens, 
who would never cease to right for the terri- 
tory which had been torn from them ; and yet 
each and all of these ready in a desperate 
crisis to combine for the preservation of Ire- 
land. In this chaos the territorial barons 
were the framework of the structure. The 
grants bestowed by Henry II. had created, in 
fact, a group of small principalities. These 
were called Palatinates, and the power of 
the Lords Palatine was almost without limit. 
Each was a king in his own little kingdom 


— could make war upon his neighbors, and 
recruit his army from his own vassals. It 
was the Geraldines who played the most his- 
toric part among these Palatines, the houses 
of Kildare and Desmond both being branches 
of this famous Norman family, which was 
always in high favor with the English sover- 
eign, and always at war with the rival house 
of Ormond, the next most powerful Anglo- 
Norman family, descended from Thomas a 
Becket. These barons, or " Lords of the 
Pale," were, of course, supposed to be the 
intermediaries for the King's authority. 
But the Geraldines seem to have found 
plenty of time to build up their own fort- 
unes, and as peace with their neighbors was 
sometimes more conducive to that pursuit, 
alliances with native chiefs and marriages 
with their daughters had in time made of 
them pretty good Irishmen. 

But our main purpose is not to follow 
the fortunes of these picturesque and roman 
tic robbers who considered all Ireland their 
legitimate prey, but rather those of the hap- 
Less oative population, dispossessed of their 
homes, hiding in forests and morasses, and 
whom it was the policy of the English Gov- 


ernment to efface in their own country. 
These pages will tell of many efforts to com- 
pel loyalty, but not one effort to loin the 
loyalty of the Irish people is recorded in 
history ! No race in the world is more sus- 
ceptible to kindness and more easily reached 
by personal influences, and there are none 
of whom a passionate loyalty is more char- 
acteristic. What might have been the effect 
of a policy of kindness instead of exaspera- 
tion, we can only guess. But we can all see 
plainly enough the disastrous results which 
have come from pouring vitriol upon open 
wounds, and from treating a nation as if 
they were not only intruders but outlaws in 
their own land. 

Listen to the Statutes of Kilkenny, passed 
by an obedient Parliament at a time when 
Edward III. was depending upon sinewy, 
clean-limbed young Irishmen to fight his 
battles in France and help him to win 
Crecy. (Which they did.) These are some 
of the provisions of the statute : Marriage 
between English and Irish is punishable by 
death in most terrible form. It is high 
treason to give horses, goods, or weapons of 
any sort to the Irish. War with the natives 


is binding upon good colonists. To speak 
the language of the country is a penal 
offence, and the killing of an Irishman is not 
to be reckoned as a crime. 

But in spite of the ferocity of her purpose, 
England grew lax. She had great wars on 
her hands, and more important interests to 
look after. Things were left to the Geral- 
dines, and to the Irish Parliament, which 
was controlled by the Lords of the Pale. 
Intermarriages, against which horrible penal- 
ties had once been enforced, had become 
frequent, and many dispossessed chiefs, not- 
ably the O'Neills, had recovered their own 
lands. So, when Henry VII. came to the 
throne, although the Norman banners had 
for three centuries floated over Ireland, the 
English territory, "the Pale," was really 
reduced to a small area about Dublin. 

Henry VII. determined to change all this. 
Sir Edward Poynings came charged with 
a mission, and Parliament passed an Act 
called Poynings Act, by which English laws 
were made operative in Ireland as in Eng- 
land. When Henry VIII. succeeded his 
father, the astute Wolsey soon doubted the 
fidelity of the Geraldines. Of what use 


were the Statutes of Kilkenny and the 
Poynings Act, when the ruling Anglo- Irish 
house acted as if they did not exist ! He 
planned their downfall. The great Earl 
of Kildare was summoned to London, and 
six of the doomed house were beheaded in 
the Tower. The Reformation had given 
a new aspect to the troubles in Ireland. 
Henry's attack upon the Church drew 
together the native Irish and the Anglo- 
Irish. The struggle had been hitherto only 
one over territory, between these naturally 
hostile classes ; now they were drawn to- 
gether by a common peril to their Church, 
and when, in 1560, Queen Elizabeth had 
passed the famous Act of Uniformity, mak- 
ing the Protestant liturgy compulsory, the 
exasperation had reached an acute stage, 
and the sense of former wrongs was intensi- 
fied by this new oppression. Ireland was 
filled with hatred and burning with desire 
for vengeance, and there was one proud 
family in Ulster, the O'Neills, which waa 
preparing to defy all England. They scorn- 
fully threw away the title "Earl of Tyrone," 
bestowed upon the head of their house by 
Henry VIII., and declared that by virtue 


of the old Irish law of Tanistry, Shane 
O'Neill was King of Ulster! It was a test 
case of the validity of Irish or English laws. 
"Shane the Proud," the King of Ulster, at 
the invitation of Elizabeth, appeared with 
his wild followers at her Court, wearing 
their saffron shirts and battle-axes. The 
tactful Queen patched up a peace with her 
rival, and then made sure that his head 
should in a few weeks adorn the walls of 
Dublin Castle. His forfeited kingdom was 
thickly planted with English and Scotch 
settlers, who, when they tried to settle, 
were usually killed by the O'Neills. The 
only thing to be done was to exterminate 
this troublesome tribe. This grew into the 
larger purpose of extirpating the whole of 
the obnoxious native population. The 
Geraldines were not all dead, and this atro- 
cious plan led to the famous Geraldine 
League, and that to the Desmond Rebel- 
lion. The league which was to be the 
avenger of centuries of wrong, was a Catho- 
lic one. The Earl of Desmond had long 
been in communication with Rome and with 
Spain, enlisting their sympathies for their 
co-religionists in Ireland. A recent event 


helped to steel the hearts of the natives 
against pity should they succeed. A ris- 
ing in Connaught had, at the suggestion of 
Sir Francis Crosby, been put down in the 
following way. The chiefs and their kins- 
men, four hundred in number, were invited 
to a banquet in the fort of Mullaghmast. 
But one man escaped alive from that feast 
of death ! One hundred and eighty from 
the clan of O' Moore alone were slaugh- 
tered. It was "Rory O'Moore" who did 
not attend the banquet, who kept alive 
the memory of the awful event for many a 
year by his battle-cry, " Remember Mul- 
laghmast!" Now the long-impending bat- 
tle was on, with a Geraldine for a standard- 
bearer. But it was in vain. Another Earl of 
Kildare perished in the Tower, and another 
Desmond head was sent there as a warning 
against disloyalty ! Those who escaped 
the slaughter fell by the executioner, and 
the remnant, hiding from both, perished by 
famine. But Munster was "pacified." The 
enormous Desmond estate, a hundred miles 
in territory, was confiscated and planted 
with settlers who would undertake the 
doubtful task of settling. 


The smothered fires next broke out in Ul- 
ster — the brilliant Earl of Tyrone headed 
the rebellion bearing his name, with Spain 
as an ally. The Queen sent the Earl of Es- 
sex to crush Tyrone. His failure to crush 
or even to check the great leader, and his 
extraordinary conduct in consenting to an 
armistice at the moment when he might 
have compelled a surrender, brought such a 
reprimand from the furious Queen that he 
rushed back to England, and to his death. 
Another and more successful leader came — 
Mountjoy. The rebellion was put down, its 
leader exiled, and his estate, comprising six 
entire counties, was confiscated, planted with 
Scotch settlers, and Ulster, too, was "pacified." 

The reign of Charles I. revived hope in Ire- 
land. He wanted money, and when Straf- 
ford came bearing profuse promises of relig- 
ious and civil liberty, and the righting of 
wrongs, a grateful Parliament at once voted 
the £100,000 demanded for the immediate 
use of the Crown, also 10,000 foot and 
1,000 horse for his use in the impending 
revolution, which was soon precipitated by 
the attempt of Charles and Laud to force 
the liturgy of the Established Church upon 


the people in Scotland. Between the Scotch 
Presbyterians and the Irish Catholics there 
was the bitterest hatred engendered during 
the long strife between the natives and the 
Scotch settlers. So the King's cause was 
Ireland's cause, his enemies were her ene- 
mies, and his triumph would also be hers. 
The day of liberation seemed at hand. The 
Lords of the Pale were in constant commu- 
nication with the King and ready to co-oper- 
ate with him in his designs upon Scotland. 
Such was the situation when Charles, under 
the pressure of his need of money, summoned 
the Parliament (1641) — the famous Long 
Parliament — which was destined to sit for 
twenty eventful years. 

Well would it be for Ireland if it could 
blot out the memory of that year (1641) 
and the horrid event it recalls. The story 
briefly told is that a plot, having for its 
end a general forcible exodus of the hated 
settlers, was discovered and defeated, when 
a disappointed and infuriated horde of armed 
men spent their rage upon a community of 
Scotch settlers in Armagh and Tyrone, whom 
they massacred with horrible barbarities. 

There is no reason to believe this deed was 


premeditated ; but it occurred, and was atro- 
cious in details and appalling in magni- 
tude. There can be no justification for 
massacre at any time ; but if there were no 
background of cruelty for this particular 
one, it would stand out blacker even than it 
does upon the pages of history. There were 
many massacres behind it — massacres com- 
mitted not to avenge wrongs, but to accom- 
plish them ! The massacre of Protestants by 
Irish Catholics is in itself no more hideous 
than the massacre of Irish Catholics by Prot- 
estants. And was it strange that in their 
first chance at retaliation, this half-civilized 
people treated their oppressors as their op- 
pressors had many, many times treated 
them ? Could anything else have been ex- 
pected \ especially when we learn that the 
Scotch Presbyterians in Tyrone and Armagh 
immediately retaliated by murdering thirty 
Irish Catholic families who were in no way 
implicated in the horror ! 

Strafford's head had fallen in the first days 
of the Long Parliament ; then Archbishop 
Laud met the same fate, and finally the exe- 
cution of Charles I. at Whitehall, in 1649, 
put an end to the dreams of liberation. Al- 


most the first thing to occupy the attention 
of Cromwell was the settling of accounts 
with the Catholic rebels in Ireland, who had 
for years been intriguing with the traitor 
King and were even now plotting with the 
Pope's nuncio, Rinucini, for the return of 
the exiled Prince Charles. 

It required six years and 600,000 lives 
for Cromwell to inflict proper punishment 
upon Ireland for these offences and the 
massacre of 1641 ; or rather, to prepare for 
the punishment which was now to begin, 
and for which we shall search history in vain 
for a parallel ! The heroic Cromwellian 
scheme — which was carried out to the letter 
— was this : The entire native population 
were, before May 1, 1654, to depart in a body 
for Connaught, there to inhabit a small 
reservation in a desolate tract between the 
Shannon and the sea, of which it was said 
by one of the commissioners engaged in this 
business, " there was not wood enough to 
burn, water enough to drown, nor earth 
enough to bury a man." They must not go 
within two miles of the river, nor four miles 
of the sea, a cordon of soldiers being per- 
manently stationed with orders to shoot any- 


one who overstepped such limits. An v Irish 
who after the date named were foiled east 
of the appointed line were to suffer death. 
Resistance was hopeless. We hear of wild 
pleas for time, for a brief delay to collect a 
few comforts, and make some provision for 
food and shelter. But at the beating of the 
drum and blast of the trumpet, and urged on 
by bayonets, the tide of wretched humanity 
flowed into Connaught, delicately nurtured 
ladies and children, the infirm, the sick, the 
high and the low, peer and peasant, sharing 
alike the vast sentence of banishment and 
starvation. The fate of others was even 
worse, many thousands, ladies, children, 
people of all ranks, had for various reasons 
been left behind. Wholesale executions of 
so great a number of helpless beings were 
impossible, so they were sold in batches and 
shipped, most of them to the West Indies 
and to the newly acquired island of Jamaica, 
to be heard of never more ; while of the 
sturdier remnant left, a few lied into exile in 
other lands, and the rest to the woods, there 
to lead lives of wild brigandage, hiding like 
wolves in caves and clefts of rocks, with a 
price upon their heads ! 


Of the two crimes, the Cromwellian settle- 
ment and the massacre of 1641, it seems to 
the writer of this that Cromwell's is the 
heavier burden for the conscience of a nation 
to carry ! Who can wonder that the Irish 
did not love England, and that the task of 
governing a people so estranged has been a 
difficult one for English statesmanship ever 
since ? 

But the extinction of a nation requires 
time, even when accomplished by measures 
so admirable as those employed in the Crom- 
wellian settlement. In 1660 Charles II. 
was on his father's throne, and we hear of 
hopes revived, and the expectation that the 
awful suffering endured for the father would 
be rewarded by his son. The land of the 
exiles in Connaught had been bestowed by 
Cromwell upon his followers. But quick 
to discern the turn in the tide, these men had 
helped to bring the exiled Prince Charles 
back to his throne. They expected reward, 
not punishment ! Like many another suc- 
cessful candidate, Charles was embarrassed 
by obligations to his friends ; besides, he 
must not offend the anti-Catholic sentiment 
in England, which since the massacre of 


1641 had become a passion. The matter of 
the land was finally adjudicated ; such Irish 
as could clear themselves of complicity with 
the Papal Nuncio and of certain other seri- 
ous offences, of which almost all were guil- 
ty, might have their possessions restored to 
them. So a small portion of the land came 
back to its owners, and the Duke of Ormond, 
a stanch Protestant, was created Viceroy. 

Although nominally a Protestant, to the 
pleasure-loving Charles the religion of his 
kingdom was the very smallest concern. So, 
more from indifference than indulgence, 
things became easier for the Irish Catholics, 
and exiles began to return. The Protest- 
ants, both English and Irish, were alarmed. 
With the massacre ever before them, they 
believed the only safety for Protestants was 
in keeping the Irish papists in a condition 
of absolute helplessness. There was" a 
smouldering mass of apprehension which 
needed only a spark to convert it into a 
blaze. The murder of Sir Edward Bery 
Godfrey, a magistrate, afforded this spark. 
Titus Oates. the most worthless scoundrel in 
all England, had recently made a sworn 
statement before this gentleman to the effect 


that a plot existed for the murder of the 
King in order to place his Catholic brother 
on the throne, to be followed by a general 
massacre of Protestants, the burning of Lon- 
don, and an invasion of Ireland by the 
French. When Sir Edward was found 
dead upon a hill-side, men's minds leaped to 
the conclusion that the carnival of blood 
had begun. An insane panic set in. Noth- 
ing short of death would satisfy the popular 
frenzy. The Roman Catholic Archbishop, 
Dr. Plunketfc, a man revered and beloved even 
by Protestants, was dragged to London, and 
for complicity in a French plot which never 
existed, and for aiding a French invasion 
which had never been contemplated, was 
hanged, drawn, and quartered. Innocent vic- 
tims were torn from their homes, fifteen sent 
to the gallows, and 2,000 languished in pris- 
ons, while a suite of apartments at Whitehall 
and £600 a year was bestowed upon Oates, 
who was greeted as the saviour of his country! 
In two years more Oates was driven from 
his apartment at Whitehall for calling the 
heir to the throne a traitor, was found 
guilty of perjury, and sentenced to be pil- 
loried, flogged, and imprisoned for life. 


And so ended the famous " Popish Plot" of 

In 1685 Charles II. died, and was succeeded 
by his brother, James II. It was precisely 
because this ignominious reign was so disas- 
trous to England, that it was a period of 
brief triumph for Ireland. That country 
was the corner-stone for the political struct- 
ure which James had long contemplated. 
It was the stronghold for the Catholicism 
which he intended should become the re- 
ligion of his kingdom. The Duke of Or- 
mond was deposed, and a Catholic filled the 
office of Viceroy in Ireland. At last their 
turn had come, and no time was lost. An 
Irish Parliament was summoned, in which 
there were just six Protestants. All the 
things of which they had dreamed for years 
were accomplished. The Poynings Act was 
repealed. Irish disabilities were removed. 
The Irish proprietors dispossessed by the 
Act of Settlement had their lands restored 
to them. All Protestants, under terrible 
penalties, were ordered to give up their arms 
before a certain day. 'Men' only recently 
with a price upon their heads were now offi- 
cers in the King's service, and were quarter- 


ing their soldiers upon the estates of the 
Protestants. There was a general exodus of 
the Protestants, some fleeing to England and 
others into the North, where they finally en- 
trenched themselves in the cities of Ennis- 
killen and Londonderry, winning for that 
last-named city imperishable fame by their 
heroic defence during a siege which lasted 
one hundred and five days. 

In the meantime it had become evident in 
England that the safety of the kingdom 
demanded the expulsion of James. His son- 
in-law, William of Orange, accepted an invi- 
tation to come and share the English throne 
with his wife Mary. The fugitive King found 
a refuge with his friend and co-conspirator, 
Louis XIV., and from France continued to 
direct the revolutionary movements in Ire- 
land, which he intended to use as a stepping- 
stone to his kingdom. 

But for Catholic Ireland all these over- 
turnings meant only a realization of the 
long-prayed-for event, a separation from 
England, a kingdom of their own, with the 
Catholic James to reign over them. When he 
arrived with his fleet and his French officers 
and munitions of war, provided by Louis 


XIV., lie was embraced with tears of rapt- 
urous joy. Their "Deliverer" had come! 
He passed under triumphal arches and over 
flower-strewn roads on his way to Dublin 
Castle. But almost before these flowers had 
faded. James had met the army of William, 
the "Battle of the Boyne" had been fought 
and lost (1690), and as fast as the winds 
would carry him he had fled back to France. 

As the city of Londonderry had been the 
last refuge for the Protestants in the North, 
it was in the city of Limerick that the Irish 
Catholics made their last stand in the South. 
And the two names stand for companion acts 
of valor and heroism. Saarsfield's magnifi- 
cent defence of the latter city after the flight 
of the King and during the terrible siege by 
William' s army under Ginkel, is the one lumi- 
nous spot in the whole campaign of disaster 
and defeat. With the surrender of Limerick 
the end had come. Their "Deliverer" was 
again a fugitive in France, and Ireland was 
face to face with an austere Protestant King, 
once more to be called to account and to re- 
ceive punishment for her crimes. 

By the famous Articles of Limerick the 
terms of the surrender, wrung by Saarsfield's 


valor from the English commander, were 
more favorable than could have been expect- 
ed. These were a full pardon, and a restora- 
tion of the rights enjoyed by the Catholics 
under Charles II. The army, with its officers, 
was to go into exile, and they might choose 
either the service of William in England, 
or enroll themselves in the service of France, 
Spain, or other European countries. The 
latter was the choice of all except a very 
few ; and when the heart-rending separation 
was over, wives and mothers clinging in de- 
spair to the retreating vessels, the last act in 
the Great Rebellion of 1690 was finished. 

Of course the Poynings law was re- 
stored, the recent Acts repealed, and a new 
period had commenced for Ireland ; a period 
of quiet, but a quiet not unlike that of the 
graveyard, the sort of quiet which makes 
the wounded and exhausted animal cease to 
struggle with his captors. For a whole cen- 
tury we are to hear of no more revolts, ris- 
ings, or rebellions. There was nothing left to 
revolt. Nothing left to rise ! The bone and 
sinew of the nation had gone to fight under 
strange banners upon foreign battle-fields, 
so there was left a nation of non-combatants, 


with spirit broken and hope extinguished, 
and grown so pathetically patient, that we 
hear not a single remonstrance as William's 
cold-blooded decrees, known as the " Penal 
Code," are placed in operation. These enact- 
ments were not blood-thirsty, not sanguinary, 
like those of former reigns, but just a delib- 
erate process apparently designed to convert 
the Irish into a nation of outcasts, by de- 
stroying every germ of ambition and drying 
up every spring which is the source of self- 
respecting manhood. 

Here are a few of the provisions of the 
famous, or infamous, code: No Papist could 
acquire or dispose of property ; nor could 
he own a horse of the value of more than 
£5 ; and any Protestant offering that sum 
for a horse he must accept it. He might not 
practise any learned profession, nor teach 
a school, nor send his children to school 
at home or abroad. Every barrister, clerk, 
and attorney must take a solemn oath not 
for any purpose to employ persons belong- 
ing to that religious faith. The discovery 
of any weapon rendered its Catholic owner 
liable to fines, whipping, the pillory, and 
imprisonment. He could not inherit, or 


even receive property as a gift from Pro- 
testants. The oldest son of a Catholic, 
by embracing the Protestant faith, became 
the heir-at-law to the whole estate of his 
father, who was reduced to the position 
of life-tenant ; and any child by the same 
Act might be taken away from its father and 
a portion of his property assigned to it ; 
while it was the privilege of the wife who 
apostatized, to be freed from her husband, 
and to have assigned to her a proportion of 
his property. 

The not unnatural result of these last- 
named enactments was that many were 
driven to feigned conversions in order to 
keep their families from starvation. It is 
said that when old Lady Thomond was re- 
proached for having bartered her soul by 
professing the Protestant faith, her quick 
retort was, u Is it not better that one old 
woman should burn, than that all of the 
Thomonds should be beggars ? " 

More details are unnecessary after saying 
that by a decision of Lord Chancellor Bowes 
and Chief-Justice Robinson it was declared 
that " the law does not suppose any such 
person to exist as an Irish Roman Catho- 


lie, while the English Bishop at Meath 
declared .from his pulpit, " We are not 
bound to keep faith with papists. " And it 
must be remembered that the people placed 
under this monstrous system of wrong and 
degradation were not a handful, whom the 
welfare of a community required should be 
dealt with severely, they were a large ma- 
jority of the population, a nation dwelling 
in their own country, where, by a Parliament 
supposed to be their own, they were governed 
by a minority of aliens. 

In this time of " Protestant ascendancy," as 
it is called, there were, of course, only Protes- 
tants in the Parliament. They had all the au- 
thority, they alone were competent to vote ; 
they were the privileged and upper class ; 
an Irish papist, whatever his rank, being the 
social inferior of his Protestant neighbor. 
But let it not be supposed that the Irish 
Protestants were on that account happy ! 
They had been planted in that land as a 
breakwater against the native Irish flood, 
but for all that, England had no idea of per- 
mitting them to build up a dangerous pros- 
perity in Ireland. The theory governing 
English statesmanship was that that coun- 


try must be kept helpless ; and to that end 
it must be kept poor. During the reign of 
Charles II. the importing of Irish cattle into 
England had been forbidden. The effects of 
this prohibition, so ruinous at first, were at 
last offset by the discovery that sheep 
might be made a greater source of profit at 
home, than when shipped to England. There 
was an increasing demand in Europe for 
Irish wool, and skilled manufacturers of 
woollen goods from abroad had come and 
started factories, thus giving employment 
to thousands of people. 

When it was realized in England that a 
profitable Irish industry had actually been 
established, there was a panic. The traders 
demanded legislative protection from Irish 
competition, which came in this form. In 
1699 an Act was passed prohibiting the ex- 
port of Irish woollen goods, not alone to Eng- 
land, but to all other countries. The facto- 
ries were closed. The manufacturers left the 
country, never to return, and a whole popu- 
lation was thrown out of employment. A 
tide of emigration then commenced which 
has never ceased ; such as could, fleeing from 
the inevitable famine which in a land always 


so perilously near starvation must surely- 

There was no market now for the wool 
which the factories would have consumed. 
At home it brought 5d. a pound, but in 
France a half crown ! The long, deeply 
indented coast-line was well adapted for 
smuggling. French vessels were hovering 
about, waiting an opportunity to get it ; the 
people were hungry, and might be hungrier, 
for there was a famine in the land ! Is it 
strange that they were converted into law- 
breakers, and that wool was packed in caves 
all along the coast ; and that a vast contra- 
band trade carried on by stealth, took the 
place of a legitimate one which was made 
impossible ? 

So it became apparent that any efforts to 
establish profitable enterprises in Ireland 
would be put down with a strong hand. 
The colonists who had been placed there by 
England felt bitterly at finding themselves 
thus involved in the pre-determined ruin of 
the country with which they had identified 
rheir own fortunes. Their love of the parent- 
country waned, some even turning to and 
adopting the persecuted creed. The voice of 


the native people, utterly stifled, was never 
heard in Parliament, and struggles which 
occurred there were between Protestants and 
Protestants ; between those who did, and 
those who did not, uphold the policy of the 
Government. Such was the condition which 
remained practically unchanged until the 
middle of the eighteenth century ; a small dis- 
contented upper class, chiefly aliens ; below 
them the peasantry, the mass of the people, 
whose benumbed faculties and empty minds 
had two passions to stir their murky depths — 
love for their religion, and hatred of England. 
The first voice raised in support of the 
constitutional rights of Ireland was that of 
William Molyneux, an Irish gentleman and 
scholar, a philosopher, and the intimate 
friend of Locke. In the latter part of the 
seventeenth century he issued a pamphlet 
which in the gentlest terms called attention 
to the fact that the laws and liberties of 
England which had been granted to Ireland 
five hundred years before had been invaded, 
in that the rights of their Parliament, a 
body which should be sacred and inviola- 
ble everywhere, had been abolished. Noth- 
ing could have been milder than this pre- 


sentation of a well-known fact ; but it 
raised a furious storm. The- constitutional 
rights of Ireland! Was the man mad? 
The book was denounced in Parliament as 
libellous and seditious, and was destroyed 
by the common hangman. Then Dean Swift, 
half- Irishman and more than half-English- 
man, an ardent High-Churchman and a vehe- 
ment anti-papist, published a satirical pam- 
phlet called " A Modest Proposal," in which 
he suggests that the children of the Irish 
peasants should be reared for food, and the 
choicest ones reserved for the landlords, who 
having already devoured the substance of the 
fathers, had the best right to feast upon their 
children. This was made the more pungent 
because it came from a man who so far from 
being an Irish patriot, was an English Tory. 
He cared little for Ireland or its people, but he 
hated tyranny and injustice ; and was stirred 
to a fierce wrath at what he himself wit- 
nessed while Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral 
in Dublin. Then it was that with tremen- 
dous scorn he hurled those shafts of biting 
wit and satire, which struck deeper than the 
cogent reasoning of the gentle and philo- 
sophic Molyneux. 



So the spell of silence was broken, and 
there began to form a small patriotic party 
in Parliament, which in 1760 was led by 
Henry Flood, from Kilkenny. A day was 
dawning after the long night ; and when in 
1775 Henry Grattan's more powerful per- 
sonality was joined with Flood's, then that 
brief day had reached its highest noon. Next 
to that of Edmund Burke, Grattan's is 
the greatest name on the roll of native-born 
Irishmen. Happy was that country in hav- 
ing such an advocate and guide at the criti- 
cal period when the American colonies were 
throwing off the yoke of English tyranny. 
The wrongs suffered by the English colonies 
in America were trifling compared with those 
endured by that other English colony in 
Ireland. If ever there was a time to press 
upon England the necessity for loosening 
their shackles it was now, when their battle 
was being fought across the sea. Every ar- 
gument in support of the independence of 
America applied with equal force to the 
legislative independence of Ireland. It was 
Grattan who at this momentous time guided 
the course of events. A Protestant, yet pos- 
sessing the entire confidence of the Catho- 


lies ; an uncompromising patriot, yet com- 
manding the respect and admiration of the 
English Government ; inflexibly opposed to 
Catholic exclusion and the ascendancy of a 
Protestant minority, and as inflexibly op- 
posed to any act of violence, he was deter- 
mined to obtain redress — but to obtain it 
only by means of the strictest constitutional 
methods. It was upon the constitutional- 
ity of their claims that he threw all the 
energy of the movement growing out of the 
American war. His personal sympathies 
were with the struggling colonists ; yet he 
voted for men and money to sustain the 
English cause. Equal rights bestowed upon 
Catholics, who were in large majority, would 
transfer to them the power ; yet he, a Prot- 
estant, passionately advocated a removal of 
the disabilities of four-fifths of the people. 
It was in this spirit of wise moderation and 
even-handed justice that Grattan took the 
tangled web of the Irish cause out of the 
hands of the more impetuous Flood ; his elo- 
quence and his moving appeals keeping two 
objects steadily in view — the independence 
of the Irish Parliament, and the removal of 
the fetters from Irish trade. 


Times had changed since Moly neux' s gentle 
remonstrance, when Grattan's famous Dec- 
laration of Rights was being supported by 
eighteen counties, and still more changed 
when at last, in 1782, an Irish House of Com- 
mons marched in a body to present to the 
Lord Lieutenant their address demanding 
freedom of commerce and manufacture. 

An unlooked-for train of events had given 
new weight to this demand. England had 
realized the necessity of protecting Ireland 
from a possible invasion growing out of the 
American war. So it was determined that a 
body of militia should be levied, in which 
only Protestants should be enrolled. The 
attempt to raise the men or the money in 
Ireland was a failure, and while defenceless, 
the country was thrown into a panic by the 
descent of Paul Jones, the American naval 
hero, upon Belfast and other points on the 
coast. The citizens of Belfast enrolled them- 
selves for their own defence. Other towns 
followed, and the contagion spread with such 
rapidity that in a short time there was in ex- 
istence a volunteer force of 60,000 men. 

Dismayed at the swiftness of the move- 
ment, England hesitated; but how could she 


deny her colony the right of self-defence ? 
They were given the arms which had been in- 
tended for the Protestant militia. And so, 
when the House of Commons marched in a 
body to the Lord Lieutenant, and presented 
their address to the Crown, it had 60,000 
armed men behind it ! 

The Viceroy wrote to England that unless 
the trade restrictions were removed, he would 
not answer for the consequences. Lord 
North had enough to do with one rebellion 
on his hands ; and, besides, George III. might 
have need of some of those 60,000 soldiers 
before he got through with America. So the 
Prime Minister yielded. The first victory 
was gained, and the other quickly followecj. 
American independence was acknowledged ; 
England was in no mood to defy another col- 
ony with rebellion in its heart. The Poynings 
Act once more, and now for all time, was re- 
pealed, and the Irish Parliament was a free and 
independent body. Grateful for this partial 
emancipation, it voted £100,000 to Grattan. 

But this legislative triumph did not feed 
the people. It was only the seed out of 
which future prosperity was to grow. A 
vague expectation of instant relief was bit- 



terly disappointed when it was found instead 
that they were sinking deeper every day in 
the hopeless abyss of poverty and degrada- 
tion. There had come into existence an or- 
ganization called the " White Boys," with 
no political or religious purpose, simply a 
fraternity of wretchedness ; beings made 
desperate by want, standing ready to com- 
mit any violence which offered relief. At 
the same time an irritation born of misery 
brought the Protestants and Catholics in the 
North into fierce collision ; and the germ of 
the future Orange societies appeared. 

These small storm-centres were all soon to 
be drawn into a larger one. In 1791 the " So- 
ciety of United Irishmen" was formed at 
Belfast. It was merely a patriotic attempt 
to sink minor differences in an organization 
in which all could join. With the rising of 
the general tide of misery it changed in 
character, and fell into the control of a band 
of restless spirits led by Wolfe Tone, who 
maintained that since constitutional reforms 
had failed, force must be their resort. He 
sent agents to Paris, and the new French 
republic consented to assist in an attempt 
to establish a republic in Ireland. 


When the year 1798 closed, there had 
been another unsuccessful rebellion. Fe- 
rocit} x had been met by ferocity, and Wolfe 
Tone and Edward Fitzgerald (a Geraldine) 
had perished in the ruin of the structure 
they had wildly built. Flood and Grattan 
had stood aloof from this miserable under- 
taking. It was now eighteen years since the 
constitutional triumph which had proved so 
barren. England was in stern mood. Pitt 
had long believed that the eifacement of the 
Irish Parliament and a legislative union of 
the two countries was the only solution. 
The Irish Protestants were shown the bene- 
fits of the protection this would afford them, 
while the bait offered to the Catholics was 
emancipation, the removal of disabilities 
which it was intimated would quickly fol- 
low. But no one was won to the cause, 
Grattan, in the most impassioned way pro- 
testing against it, and the measure was de- 
feated. Then followed the darkest page in 
the chapter. 

It is well known that large amounts of 
money were paid to the owners of eighty-five 
doubtful boroughs — boroughs which would 
be effaced by the union — that peerages and 


baronetcies were generously distributed, and 
that shortly after, the measure was again 
brought up and carried ! So by the Act 
of Union, 1800, the Irish Parliament had 
ceased to exist, and the two countries were 
politically merged. It is certain that the 
union was hateful to the Irish people, and 
that it was tainted by the suspicion of dis- 
honorable methods, which one hundred 
years have failed to disprove. It may have 
been the best thing possible, under the cir- 
cumstances, for Ireland ; but to the Irish 
patriots it seemed a crowning act of oppres- 
sion accomplished by treachery. 

You cannot combine oil and water by 
pouring them into one glass. The union 
was not a union. The natures of the two 
races were utterly hostile. Centuries of 
cruel wrong and outrage had accentuated 
every undesirable trait in the Irish people. 
A nature simple, confiding, spontaneous, 
and impulsive, had become suspicious, ex- 
plosive, and dangerous. Pugnacity had 
grown into ferocity. A joyous, light-hearted, 
and engaging people had become a sullen 
and vindictive one ; famine, misery t and ig- 
norance had put their stamp of degradation 


upon the peasantry, the majority of the 
people. Intermarriage, so savagely inter- 
dicted for centuries, was the only thing 
which could ever have fused two such con- 
trasting races. Such a fusion might have 
benefited both, in giving a wholesome solid- 
ity to the Irish, while the stolid English 
would have been enriched by the fascinat- 
ing traits and the native genius of their brill- 
iant neighbors. But the opportunity had 
been lost ; and enlightened English states- 
manship is still seeking for a plan which 
will convert an unnatural and artificial union 
into a real one. 

The delusive promises of the relief which 
was to come with union were not fulfilled. 
Catholics remained under the same mon- 
strous ban as before, and things were prac- 
tically unchanged. Young Robert Em- 
mett's abortive attempt to seize Dublin 
Castle in 1803 intensified conditions, but 
did not alter them. The pathetic story of 
his capture while seeking a parting interview 
with Sarah Curran, to whom he was engaged, 
and his death by hanging the following 
morning, is one of the smaller tragedies in 
the greater one ; and the death of Sarah 


from a broken heart, soon after, is the subject 
of Moore's well-known lines. 

The most colossal figure in the story of 
Ireland had now appeared. Daniel O'Con- 
nell, unlike the other great leaders, was a 
Catholic. In the language of another, "he 
was the incarnation of the Irish nation." 
All that they were, he was, on a majestic 
scale. His whole tremendous weight was 
thrown into the subject of Catholic emanci- 
pation ; and, although a giant in eloquence 
and in power, it took him just twenty-nine 
years to accomplish it. In the year 1829, 
even Wellington, that incarnation of Brit- 
ish conservatism, bent his head before the 
storm, and there was a full and unqualified 
removal of Catholic disabilities. O'Connell 
was not content ; he did not pause. The 
tithe-system, that most odious of oppressions, 
must go. A starving nation compelled to 
support in its own land a Church it consid- 
ered blasphemous ! A standing army kept 
in their land to wring this tribute from them 
at the point of the bayonet ! Think of a 
people on the brink of the greatest famine 
Europe has ever known, being in arrears a 
million and a quarter of pounds for tithes 


for an Established Church they did not want ! 
Is it strange that Sydney Smith said no 
abuse as great could be found in Timbuctoo ? 
Is it a wonder that there was always disorder 
and violence from a chronic tithe-war in 
Ireland, which it is said has cost a million of 
lives? But in 1839, in the second year of 
Queen Victoria's reign, Parliament gave re- 
lief, in the following ingenious way. The 
burden was placed upon the land ; the land- 
lord must pay the tithe, not the people ! 
The exasperation which followed took a form 
with which we are all more or less familiar. 
With the increase in rents which, of course, 
ensued, there commenced an anti-rent agita- 
tion which has never ceased. A repeal of 
the Union was the only remedy, and to this 
O'Connell devoted all his energies. 

In 1845, in one black night, a blight fell 
upon the potato-crop. Carlyle says "a fam- 
ine presupposes much." What must be the 
economic condition of a people when there is 
only one such frail barrier between them 
and starvation ! The famine was the hideous 
child of centuries. There is no need to dwell 
upon its details. Its name expresses all the 
horror of those two years, when Europe and 


America strove in vain to relieve the famish- 
ing nation, even those who had food, dying, 
it is said, from the mental anguish produced 
by witnessing so much suffering which they 
could not assuage. The great O'Connell 
himself died of a broken heart in beholding 
this national tragedy. When it was over, 
Ireland had lost two millions of its popula- 
tion. Thousands had perished and thou- 
sands more had emigrated from the doomed 
land to America, there to keep alive, in the 
hearts of their children, the memory of their 

Out of this wreck and ruin there arose the 
party of " Young Ireland," led, with more or 
less wisdom, by Mitchell, Smith O'Brien 
(descended from Brian Boru), Dillon, and 
Meagher. Mitchell was soon transported, 
and later O'Brien and Meagher were under 
sentence of death, which was afterward com- 
muted, Meagher surviving to lay down his 
life for the North in the civil war in Amer- 
ica. It is not strange that these men were 
driven to futile insurrections, maddened as 
they were by the sight of their countrymen, 
not yet emerged from the horrors of famine, 
forced in droves out of the shelter of their 


miserable cabins, for non-payment of rent. 
It has been told in foregoing pages how it 
came about that absentee English landlords 
owned a great part of Ireland. From this 
had arisen the custom of subletting ; and 
when it is known that sometimes four people 
stood between the tenant and the landlord, 
it will be realized how difficult it was to 
place responsibility, to do justice, or to show 
mercy in such an iniquitous system. It was 
the system, not the landlord, that was vicious. 
Eviction has done as much as famine to de- 
populate Ireland. It has driven millions of 
Irishmen into America ; and the cruelty and 
even ferocity with which it has been carried 
out cannot be overstated. Whatever the 
weather, for the sick, or even for the dying, 
there was no pity. Out they must go ; and 
to make sure that they would not return, 
the cabin was unroofed ! And then, if the 
wretched being died under the stars by the 
road-side, he might, in the words of Mitchell, 
"lift his dying eyes and thank God that he 
perished under the best constitution in the 
world ! " 

At the close of the American civil war it 
was believed by Irishmen that the strained 


relations between England and America 
would lead to open conflict. An organiza- 
tion named Fenians (after the ancient Feni) 
formed a plan for a rising in Ireland, which 
was to be simultaneous with a raid into 
Canada by way of America. 

The United States Government took vigor- 
ous action in the matter of the Canadian 
raid, and the failure of this and of other vio- 
lent attempts at home put an end to the least 
creditable of all such organizations. 

It was in 1869 that Mr. Gladstone realized 
his long-cherished plan for the disestablish- 
ment of the Church in Ireland. The genera- 
tions which had hoped and striven for this 
had passed away, and in the Ireland which 
remained, there was scarcely spirit enough 
left to rejoice over anything. The words 
Home Rule were the only ones with power 
to arouse hope. With the Liberal Party on 
their side, this seemed possible of attain- 
ment. In 1875 Charles Parnell entered the 
House of Commons and became the leader of 
a Home Rule Party. But the question of 
evictions, of which there had been 10,000 in 
four years, became so pressing, that he 
organized a National Land League, which 


had for its object the relief of present dis- 
tress, and the substitution of peasant-pro- 
prietorship for the existing landlord sys- 
tem; an agrarian scheme, or dream, to 
which Mr. Parnell devoted the rest of his 
life. Mr. ParnelPs weapons were parlia- 
mentary. He introduced an obstructive 
method in legislation which caused extreme 
irritation and finally antagonism between 
the Liberal Party and his own. This, to- 
gether with the unfounded suspicion of 
complicity in the murder of Lord Freder- 
ick Cavendish, in 1882, militated against 
Mr. Gladstone's Home Rule Act, which was 
defeated in 1886 ; and the cause awaited an- 
other champion. 

But while the door bearing the alluring 
words " Home Rule " still remains rigidly 
closed, another has unexpectedly opened. 
One of the first subjects to engage the at- 
tention of King Edward VII. after his ac- 
cession was the settlement of the Irish 
agrarian question which that practical Mon- 
arch recognized as the most essential to the 
pacification of his Irish subjects. This has 


resulted in an ingeniously devised system of 
peasant-proprietorship, which is made pos- 
sible by Government aid, in money and 
credit. The New Land Act, embodying 
this result, went into effect November 1, 
1903, whereby tenants, sub-tenants, or peo- 
ple who are not tenants may purchase land 
in small lots and hold it as their own, by 
the payment of a small annual rental which 
applies to the purchase. It is impossible to 
give here the complicated details which in- 
sure this result with benefit to landlord, 
tenant, and also to the Government itself. 
But a remedy seems to have been found 
which accomplishes all this ; and the condi- 
tion, more demoralizing to Irish life and 
character than any other, has been removed. 
With the sense of peace and permanence, 
and even of dignity, which comes from pro- 
prietorship it is hoped a new day is dawn- 
ing for the peasantry of that unhappy 

It has been Ireland's misfortune to be 
geographically allied to one of the greatest 


European Powers. She has been fighting 
for centuries against the " despotism of 
fact." She has never once loosened the 
grasp fastened upon her in 1171 ; never had 
control of her capital city, which, built by 
the Northmen, has been the home of her 
political masters ever since. Of course 
everyone knows that when the English 
Government solemnly doubts the capacity 
of the Irish people for Home Kule, its solici- 
tude is for England, not Ireland. 

Francis Meagher, when on trial for his 
life, said : " If I have committed a crime, it 
is because I have read the history of Ire- 
land ! " One need not be an Irish patriot to 
be in rebellion against the English rule in 
that land ; and no Protestant can read with- 
out shame and indignation the crimes which 
have been committed in the name of his 

But, in view of the small results of more 
than eight centuries of resistance, would it 
not be wise for the Irish people to abandon 
the fight against the " despotism of fact," 


to give up the attitude of a conquered peo- 
ple with rebellion in their hearts? Is not 
this the right moment, when England is 
manifesting a desire to be more just, for 
Ireland, deeply injured although she is, to 
accept the olive branch, and call a truce ? 


The northern extremity of the British 
Isles, bristling with mountains and with its 
ragged coast-line deeply fringed by the sea, 
told in advance the character of its people. 
Scotland is the child of the mountains ; and 
in spite of all that has been done to change 
their native character, the word Caledonia 
still invokes the same picturesque, liberty- 
loving race which in the first century, under 
the name of Picts, defied Agricola and his 
Roman legions, and the wall they had 
builded. If they have borrowed their name 
from Ireland, if they have used the speech 
and consented to wear the political yoke of 
the Anglo-Saxon, they have accepted these 
things only as convenient garments for a 
proud Scottish nationality, which has defied 
all efforts to change its essential character. 

About four centuries after the Roman in- 
vasion, a colony of Scots (Irish) migrated to 


the opposite coast, under Fergus, and set up 
their little kingdom in Argyleshire, taking 
with them, perhaps, the sacred "Stone of 
Destiny" upon which a long line of Irish 
kings had been crowned, and which tradition 
asserts was "Jacob's Pillow." The Picts 
and the Irish Scots were both of the Celtic 
race, and if they fought, it was as brothers 
do, ready in an instant to embrace and make 
common cause, which they first did against 
the Romans. A common enemy is the sur- 
est healer of domestic feuds, and there were 
many of these to bring together the two Cel- 
tic branches dwelling on the same soil after 
the fifth century. Then came the more 
peaceful fusion through a common religious 
faith. St. Columba had been preceded by 
St. JSTimian. But it was the Irish saint from 
Donegal who did for the Picts what St. 
Patrick had done for the Irish Scots. In 
the history of the Church there has never 
been an awakening of purer spiritual ardor 
than that which irradiated from Columba' s 
monastery at Iona. 

Why the Irish Scots, occupying only a 
small bit of territory, should have fastened 
their name upon the land of their adoption 


is not known. Perhaps it was the magic of 
that Stone of Destiny ! The Picts had the 
political centre of their kingdom at Scone, 
on the river Tay. It was in 844 that Kenneth 
M'Alpin made war upon the Irish Scots, the 
little kingdom in Argyle was merged with 
that of the Picts, and by the eleventh century 
the latter name had disappeared and the 
name Scotland was applied to the whole 
country. In the two centuries following 
this union there were four reigns, in which 
wars between hostile clans were diversified 
by wars with invading Danes, and with the 
Angles near the border, with whom there 
was a chronic struggle, caused by aggressions 
upon both sides. Malcolm II. succeeded in 
defeating the Angles on the Tweed, seized 
Lothian, incorporated this bit of old England 
with his own kingdom, then died, in 1034, 
leaving his throne to his grandson, Duncan. 
There was the same play of fierce ambi- 
tions upon this small stage as on larger ones. 
Scottish thanes strove to undermine and 
sup})] ant other thanes, just as Norman 
barons and Scotcl^English earls would do 
later, and as in other lands and at all times, 
the dream of aspiring, intriguing nobles 


was by some happy chance to snatch the 
crown and reign at Scone. 

Macbeth, the Thane of G-lamis, was by 
birth nearest to the supreme prize. His 
wife, whose "undaunted mettle" we all 
know, had royal blood in her veins. We 
also know how the poison of ambition 
worked in the once guiltless soul of the 
thane after the prophecy of the "Weird 
Sisters" had commenced its fulfilment. The 
story was quaintly told a century before 
Shakespeare lived, in a history of Scotland 
by Boece. The book was written in Latin, 
and in the sixteenth century was translated 
into the Scottish vernacular. It tells of the 
meeting between Macbeth, Banquo, and the 
"Weird Sisters." " The first of thaim said, 
'Hale, Thane of Glammis ! ' the secound 
said, * Hale, Thane of Cawder ! ' and the 
thrid said, ' Hale, King of Scotland ! ' Then 
Banquo said, 'How is it ye gaif to my com- 
panyeon not onlie landis and gret rentis, 
bot Kingdomes, and gevis me nocht ? ' To 
which they reply, ' Thoucht he happin to be 
ane King, nane of his blude sail eftir him 
succeid. Be contrar, thow sail nevir be King, 
bot of the sal cum mony Kingis, quhilkis 


sail rejose the Croun of Scotland ! ' Then 
they evanist out of sicht." This seems to 
have amused the two friends and "Fur sam 
time Banquho wald call Makbeth ' King of 
Scottis' for derisioun ; and he on the samin 
maner wald call Banquho 'the fader of 
mony Kingis ! ' Yit, not long ef ter, it hapnit 
that the Thane of Cawder wasdisinheristand 
f orfaltit of his landis for certane crimes ; and 
his landis wer gevin be King Duncane to 
Makbeth. It hapnit in the nixt nicht that 
Banquho and Makbeth were sportand togid- 
dir at thair supper," and Banquo reminded 
his friend that there remained only the Crown 
to complete the prophecy. Whereupon, " he 
began to covat the crown." And then Dun- 
can named his young son Malcolm as his 
heir, " Quhilk wes gret displeseir to Mak- 
beth ; for it maid plane derogatioun to the 
thrid weird," promising him the Crown. 
" Nochtheless, he thocht, gif Duncane war 
slane, he had maist richt to the Croun, be the 
old lawis of King Fergus (law of tanistry), 
becaus he wer nerest of blude thairto," 
the text of the old law being, " Quhen 
young children wer unabil to govern, the 
nerrest of thair blude sail regne." Then, 


when his wife " calland him oft times, febil 
cowart, sen he durst not assail ye thing 
with manheid and enrage, quhilk is offert to 
him be benivolence of fortoun," then, so 
tempted and so goaded, " Makbeth fand 
sufficient opportunite, and slew King Dun- 
cane, the VII yeir of his regne, and his body 
was buryit in Elgin, and efter tane up 
and brocht to Colmekill, quhare it remanis 
yit, amang the uthir Kingis: fra our Re- 
demption. MXLVI yeris." 

The story told in these quaint words was, 
without any doubt, read by Shakespeare, and 
in the alembic of his imagination grew into 
the immortal play. Touched by his genius, 
the names Dunsinnane and Birnam, lying 
close to Scone, are luminous points on the 
map, upon which the eye loves to linger. 
The incidents may not be authentic. We 
are told they are not. But Macbeth certainly 
slew Duncan and was King of Scotland, and 
finally met his Nemesis at Dunsinnane, near 
Birnam Wood, where Malcolm III., called 
Canmore, avenged his father's death, slew 
the usurper, and was crowned king at Scone, 

The historic point selected by Shakespeare 


has an important significance of a different 
sort. It was the dividing line between the 
old and the new. Macbeth' s reign marks 
the close of the Celtic period. With the 
advent of Malcolm III., there commenced 
that infusion of Teutonic political ideals 
which was destined at last to merge the An- 
glo-Saxon and the Scottish Celt into one 
political organism. Malcolm's mother was 
the sister of the Earl of Northumberland. 
So the son of Duncan was half-English ; and 
he became more than half-English when, 
somewhat later, he married Margaret, sister of 
his friend and guest, "Edgar the Atheling," 
last claimant of the Saxon throne, who had 
taken refuge with him while vainly plotting 
against William the Conqueror. This was in 
1067, the year after the conquest. So at this 
critical period in English history, the door 
leading to the South, which had until now 
been kept bolted and barred, except for hos- 
tile bands, was left ajar. A host of Saxon no- 
bles, following their leader, Edgar, streamed 
into Scotland, and soon formed the most 
powerful element about the throne, bringing 
new speech, new ways, new customs ; in fact, 
doing at Scone precisely what the Norman 


nobles were at the s&me time doing at Lon- 
don, substituting a more advanced civiliza- 
tion for an existing one. The manners of the 
Norman nobles were not more odious to the 
Saxon nobility in England, than were those 
of the Saxons to the proud thanes and people 
in Scotland. Then Malcolm began to bestow 
large grants of land upon his foreign favor- 
ites, accompanied by an almost unlimited 
authority over their vassals, and feudalism 
was introduced into the free land. With 
these changes there gradually formed a dia- 
lect, a mingling of the two forms of speech, 
which became the language of the Court, and 
of the powerful dwellers in the Lowlands. 
And so, in succeeding reigns, the process of 
blending went on, the wave of a changed 
civilization driving before it the Celtic 
speech, manners, and habits, into their im- 
pregnable fastnesses in the Highlands, there 
to preserve the national type in proud per- 
sistence. Such was the condition for one 
hundred and fifty years, the Crown in open 
alliance with aliens, subverting established 
usages and fastening an exotic feudalism up- 
on the South ; while an angry and defiant Cel- 
tic people remained unsubdued in the North. 


It was a favorite amusement with the 
Scottish kings to dart across the border into 
Northumbria, the disputed district, not yet 
incorporated with England, there to waste 
and burn as much as they could, and then 
back again. In one of these forays in 1174, 
the King, " William the Lion," was captured 
by a party of English barons. Henry II. of 
England had just returned from Ireland, 
where he had established his feudal sover- 
eignty by conquest. Now he saw a chance 
01 accomplishing the same thing by peaceful 
methods in Scotland. He named as a price 
of ransom for the captive King an acknowl- 
edgment of his feudal lordship. The terms 
were accepted, and the five castles which they 
included were surrendered. Fifteen years 
later, his son Richard I., the romantic crusad- 
er, gave back to Scotland her castles and her 
independence. But what had been done 
once, would be tried again. So while it was 
the steady policy of the English sovereigns 
to reduce Scotland to a state of vassalage to 
England, it was the no less steady aim of 
the Scottish kings to extend their own feudal 
authority to the Highlands and the islands 
in the north and west of their own realm, 


where an independent people had never yet 
been brought under its subjection. 

In the year 1286 Alexander IIL died, and 
only an infant granddaughter survived to 
wear the crown. The daughter of the de- 
ceased King had married the King of Nor- 
way, and dying soon after, had left an infant 
daughter. It was about this babe that the 
diplomatic threads immediately began to 
entwine. A regency of six nobles was ap- 
pointed to rule the kingdom. Then Edward 
I. of England proposed a marriage between 
his own infant son and the little maid. The 
proposition was accepted. A ship was sent 
to Norway to bring the baby Queen to Scot- 
land, bearing jewels and gifts from Edward ; 
but just before she reached the Orkneys the 
"Maid of Norway" died. Edward's plans 
were frustrated, and the empty throne of 
Scotland had many claimants, but none with 
paramount right to the succession. In the 
wrangle which ensued, when eight ambitious 
nobles were trying to snatch the prize, Ed- 
ward I. intervened to settle the dispute, 
which had at last narrowed down to one be- 
tween two competitors, Bruce and Baliol, 
both lineally descended from King David I. 


But the important fact in this mediatorial 
act of Edward was, that it was done by virtue 
of his authority as Over-Lord of Scotland. 
We are left to imagine how and why such a 
monstrous and baseless pretension was ac- 
knowledged without a single protest. But 
when we reflect that the eager claimants and 
their upholders represented, not the people 
of Scotland but an aristocratic ruling ele- 
ment, more than half-English already, it is 
not so strange that they were willing to pay 
this price for the sake of restoring peace and 
security at a time when everything was im- 
perilled by an empty throne. There was no 
organic unity in Scotland ; only a superficial 
unity, created by the name of king, which fell 
into chaos when that name was withdrawn. 
It was imperative that someone should be 
crowned at Scone at once. And so, when 
Edward, by virtue of his authority as Over- 
Lord, gave judgment in favor of John Baliol, 
without a single remonstrance Baliol was 
crowned John I. at Scone, rendered hom- 
age to his feudal lord, and Scotland was a 
vassal kingdom (1292). This whole proceed- 
ing, thus disposing of the state, had in no 
way recognized the existence of a nation. 


It was an arrangement between the Scottish 
nobles and clergy, and the King of England. 
When the heralds had, with great ceremony, 
proclaimed King Edward Lord Paramount 
of Scotland, the matter was supposed to be 
ended, and it was forgotten that there was 
beyond the Grampians a proud people, 
whose will would have to be broken before 
their country would become the fief of an 
English king. But Baliol soon discovered 
how empty was the honor he had purchased. 
There was now a right of appeal from the 
Scottish Parliament and courts to those of 
Edward I. Such appeals were made, and 
King John I. was with scant ceremony sum- 
moned to London to plead his own cause 
before a Parliament which humiliated and 
insulted him. 

In 1295, so intolerable had his position 
become, that Baliol threw off the yoke of vas- 
salage, secured an alliance with France, and 
gathered such of his nobles as he could about 
him, prepared to resist the authority of Ed- 
ward ; whereupon that enraged King marched 
into the rebellious land, swept victoriously 
from one city to another, gathering up towns 
and castles by the way ; then took the sa- 


cred Stone of Destiny from Scone as a 
memorial of his conquest, and left the peni- 
tent vassal King helpless and forlorn in his 
humiliated kingdom. It was then that the 
famous stone was built into the coronation- 
chair, where it still remains. 

We have now come to a name which, as 
Wordsworth says, is " to be found like a wild 
flower, all over his dear country." Every- 
where there are places sacred to his memory. 
The story of Wallace is a brief one — an 
impassioned resolve to free his enslaved 
country, one supreme triumph, then defeat, 
an ignominious and cruel death in London, 
to be followed by imperishable renown for 
himself, and for Scotland— freedom. Sir 
William Wallace belonged to the lower class 
of Scotch nobility. He had never sworn al- 
legiance to Edward I. His career of out- 
lawry commenced by his making small 
attacks upon small English posts. As his 
successes increased, so did his followers, 
until so formidable had the movement be- 
come, that Edward learned there was a 
rising in his vassal kingdom. But it could 
not be much, he thought, as he had all the 
nobles, and how could there be a rising with- 



out nobles? So lie despatched a small force 
to straighten things out. But a few weeks 
later, Edward himself was in Scotland with 
an army. Wallace was besieging the Castle 
of Dundee, when he heard that the King was 
marching on Stirling. With the quick in- 
stinct of the true military leader, he saw his 
opportunity. He reached the rising ground 
commanding the bridge of Stirling, while the 
English army of 50,000 were still on the op- 
posite side of the river. When the English 
general, seeing his disadvantage, offered to 
make terms, Wallace replied that his terms 
were " the freedom of Scotland." The at- 
tack made as they were crossing the bridge 
resulted in the panic of the English and a 
rout in which the greater part of the flee- 
ing army was slain and drowned (1297). 
Baliol had been swept from the scene and 
was in the Tower of London, so Wallace was 
supreme. But in less than a year Edward 
had returned with an army overwhelming 
in numbers, and Wallace met a crushing de- 
feat at Falkirk. We next hear of him on 
the Continent, still planning for Scotland's 
liberation, then hunted and finally caught 
in Glasgow, dragged to London in chains, 


there to be tried and condemned for treason. 
Had they condemned him as a rebel and an 
outlaw there would have been justice, for these 
he was. But a traitor he never was, for he had 
never sworn allegiance to Edward. He had 
fought against the invaders of his country, 
and for this he died a felon's death, with all 
the added cruelties of Norman law. He was 
first tortured, then executed in a way to 
strike terror to the souls of similar offenders 
(1304). But his work was accomplished. He 
had lighted the fires of patriotism in Scot- 
land* The power of his name to stir the 
hearts of his people like a trumpet-blast, is 
best described by the words of Robert Burns : 
"The story of Wallace poured a Scottish 
prejudice into my veins, which will boil 
along there till the flood-gates of life shut, 
in eternal rest. 5 ' To be praised by the bards 
was the supreme reward of Celtic heroes. 
What did death matter, in form however 
terrible, to one who was to be so remembered 
nearly five centuries later by Scotland's 
greatest bard ? 

We are accustomed to regard the name of 
Bruce as the intensest expression of a Scot- 
tish nationality, and of its aspirations tow- 


ard liberty. But it had no such meaning 
at this time. The ancestor of the family 
was Robert de Bruis, a Norman knight who 
came over with the Conqueror. His son, 
Robert, was one of those hated foreign ad- 
venturers at the Court of David I., and 
received from that King a large grant and 
the Lordship of Annandale. The grandson 
of this first Earl of Annandale married Isa- 
bel, the granddaughter of David I., and so it 
was that the house of Bruce came into the 
line of royal succession. It was Robert, the 
son of Isabel, who competed with Baliol for 
the throne of Scotland. 

Robert Bruce, who stands forth as the 
greatest character in Scottish history, was 
twelve years old when his grandfather was 
defeated by Baliol in this competition. No 
family in the vassal kingdom was more 
trusted by England' s King, nor more friend- 
ly to his pretensions. The young Robert's 
father had accompanied King Edward to 
Palestine in his own youth, and he himself 
was being trained at the English Court. His 
English mother had large estates in England, 
and, in fact there was everything to bind 
him to the King' s cause. He and his father, 


and the High Steward of Scotland, together 
with other Scottish-Norman nobles, had been 
with the King in his triumphal march through 
Scotland when Baliol was dethroned, and at 
the time of the rising under Wallace, Rob- 
ert Bruce had not one thing in common with 
him or his cause. And as for the people 
in the Highlands, if he ever thought of them 
at all, it was as troublesome malcontents, 
who needed to be ruled with a strong hand. 
Wallace was in rebellion against an estab- 
lished authority, to which all his own ante- 
cedents reconciled him. How the change 
was wrought, how his bold and ardent spirit 
came to its final resolve, we can only sur- 
mise. Was it through a complicated strug- 
gle of forces, in which ambition played the 
greatest part ? Or did the splendid heroism 
of Wallace, and the spirit it evoked in the 
people, awaken a slumbering patriotism in 
his own romantic soul ? Or was it the pre- 
science of a leader and statesman, who saw 
in this newty developed popular force an 
opportunity for a double triumph, the eman- 
cipation of Scotland, and the realization of 
his own kingship % 
Whatever the process, a change was going 


on in his soul. He wavered, sometimes in- 
clining to the party of Wallace, and some- 
times to that of the King, until the year 
1304. In that year, the very one in which 
Wallace died, he made a secret compact 
with the Bishop of Lamberton, pledging mut- 
ual help against any opponents. While at 
the Court of Edward, shortly after this, he 
discovered that the King had learned of this 
compromising paper. There was nothing 
left but flight. He mounted his horse and 
swiftly returned to Scotland. Now the die 
was cast. His only competitor for the 
throne was Comyn. They met to confer 
over some plan of combination, and in a 
dispute which arose, Bruce slew his rival. 
Whether it was premeditated, or in the heat 
of passion, who could say ? But Comyn was 
the one obstacle to his purpose, and he had 
slain him, had slain the highest noble in the 
state ! All of England, and now much of 
Scotland, would be against him ; but he 
could not go back. He resolved upon a bold 
course. He went immediately to Scone, as- 
cended the throne, and surrounded by a 
small band of followers, was crowned King 
of Scotland, March 27, 1306. He soon learned 


the desperate nature of the enterprise upon 
which he had embarked. There was noth- 
ing in his past to inspire the confidence of 
the patriots at the North, and at the South 
he was pursued with vindictive fury by the 
friends of the slain Comyn. Edward, stirred 
as never before, was preparing for an in- 
vasion, issuing proclamations ; no mercy to 
be shown to the rebels. Bruce' s English 
estates, inherited from his mother, were con- 
fiscated, and an outlaw and a fugitive, he 
was excommunicated by the Pope ! Un- 
able to meet the forces sent by Edward, he 
placed his Queen in the care of a relative and 
then disappeared, wandering in the High- 
lands, hiding for one whole winter on the 
coast of Ireland and supposed to be dead. 
His Queen and her ladies were torn from 
their refuge and his cousin hanged. 

Had Robert Bruce died at this time he 
would have been remembered not as a pa- 
triot, but as an ambitious noble who perished 
in a desperate attempt to make himself king. 
But his undaunted soul was working out a 
different ending to the story. In the spring 
of 1307 he returned undismayed. With a 
small band of followers he met an English 


army, defeated the Earl of Pembroke at 
Ayr, and with this success the tide turned. 
The people caught the contagion of his in- 
trepid spirit, and in the seven years which fol- 
lowed, he shines out as one of the great cap- 
tains of history. By the year 1313 every 
castle save Berwick and Stirling had sur- 
rendered to him. Vast preparations were 
made in England for the defence of this lat- 
ter stronghold. 

It was on the burn (stream) two miles from 
Stirling that Bruce assembled his 30,000 
men, and made his plans to meet Edward 
with his 100,000. On the morning of the 23d 
of June, 1314, he exhorted his Scots to fight 
for their liberty. How they did it, the world 
will never forget ! And while Scotland en- 
dures, and as long as there are Scotsmen 
with warm blood coursing in their veins, 
they will never cease to exult at the name 
Bannockburn ! Tliirty thousand English 
fell upon the field. Twenty-seven barons 
and two hundred knights, and seven hun- 
dred squires were lying in the dust, and 
twenty-two barons and sixty knights were 
prisoners. Never was there a more crushing 


Still England refused to acknowledge the 
independence of the kingdom, and Bruce 
crossed the border with his army. The Pope 
was appealed to by Edward, and issued a 
pacifying bull in 1317, addressed to " Edward, 
King of England," and u the noble Robert 
de Bruis, conducting himself as King of 
Scotland. ' ' Bruce declined to accept it until 
he was addressed as King of Scotland, and 
then proceeded to capture Berwick. The 
Scottish Parliament sent an address to the 
Pope, from which a few interesting extracts 
are here made : 

" It has pleased God to restore us to lib- 
erty, by one most valiant Prince and King, 
Lord Robert, who has undergone all manner 
of toil, fatigue, hardship, and hazard. To 
him we are resolved to adhere in all things, 
both on account of his merit, and for what he 
has done for us. But, if this Prince should 
leave those principles he has so nobly pur- 
sued, and consent that we be subjected to 
the King of England, we will immediately 
expel him as our enemy, and will choose 
another king, for as long as one hundred of 
us remain alive, we will never be subject to 
the English. For it is not glory, nor riches, 


nor honor, but it is liberty alone, that we 
contend for, which no honest man will lose 
but with his life." 

The spirit manifested in this had its effect, 
and the Pope consented to address Bruce by 
his title, " King of Scotland." After delaying 
the evil day as long as possible, England at 
last, in 1328, concluded a treaty recognizing 
Scotland as an independent kingdom, in 
which occurred these words: " And we re- 
nounce whatever claims we or our ancestors 
in bygone times have laid in any way over 
the kingdom of Scotland." 

Concerning the character of Robert Bruce, 
historians are not agreed. To fathom his 
motives would have been difficult at the 
time ; how much more so then after six cen- 
turies. We only know that he leaped into 
an arena from which nature and circum- 
stances widely separated him, gave a free 
Scotland to her people, and made himself the 
hero of her great epic. 

When we see the spiritless sons of Bruce 
in the hands of base intriguing nobles, trail- 
ing their great inheritance in the mire, we 
exclaim : Was it for this that there was such 
magnificent heroism? Was it worth seven 


years of such struggle to emancipate the 
land from a foreign tyranny, only to have it 
fall into a degrading domestic one % But the 
reassuring fact is, that the governing power 
of a nation is only an incident, more or less 
imperfect. The life is in the people. There 
was not a cottage nor a cabin in all of Scot- 
land that was not ennobled by the conscious- 
ness of what had been done. Men's hearts 
were glad with a wholesome gladness ; and 
every child in the land was lisping the names 
of Wallace and of Bruce and. learning the 
story of their deeds. But for all that, the 
period following the death of the great King 
and Captain is a disappointing one, and we 
are not tempted to linger while the incapable 
David II. wears his father's crown, and while 
the son of Baliol, instigated by England, is 
troubling the kingdom, and even having him- 
self crowned at Scone ; and while Edward 
III., until attracted by more tempting fields 
in France, is invading the land and recapt- 
uring its strongholds. The limit of humilia- 
tion seems to be reached when David II., in 
the absence of an heir, proposes to leave his 
throne to Lionel, son of Edward III. ! 
When Robert Bruce bestowed his daugh- 


ter, Marjory, upon the High Steward of Scot- 
land, he determined the course of history in 
two countries ; in England even more than 
in Scotland. The office of Steward was the 
highest in the realm. Since the time of 
David I. it had been hereditary in one 
family, and according to a prevailing cus- 
tom, to which many names now bear testi- 
mony, the official designation had become 
the family name. The marriage of Robert 
Stewart (seventh High Steward of his house) 
to Marjory Bruce was destined to bear con- 
sequences involving not alone the fate of 
Scotland, but leading to a transforming 
revolution and the greatest crisis in the life 
of England. As the Weird Sisters promised 
to Banquo, this Stewart was " to be the 
fader of mony Kingis," for Marjory was the 
ancestress of fourteen sovereigns, eight of 
whom were to sit upon the throne of Scot- 
land, and six upon those of both England 
and Scotland (1371 to 1714, three hundred 
and forty-three years). 

Marjory's son, Robert II., the first of the 
Stuart kings, was crowned at Scone in 1371. 
His natural weakness of character made him 
the mere creature of his determined and 


ambitious brother, the Duke of Albany, who, 
in fact, held the state in his hand until far 
into the succeeding reign of Robert III., 
which commenced in 1390. The nobles had 
now established a ruinous ascendancy in the 
state, and so abject had the King become, 
that Robert III. was paying annual grants 
to the Duke of Albany and others for his 
safety and that of his heir In spite of this, 
his eldest son, Rothesay, was abducted by 
Albany and the Earl of Douglas, and mys- 
teriously died, it is said of starvation. The 
unhappy King then sent Prince James, his 
second son, to France for safety ; but he 
was captured by an English ship by the 
way, and lodged in the Tower of London by 
Henry IV. When Robert III. died immedi- 
ately after of a broken heart, the captive 
Prince was proclaimed king (1406), and his 
uncle, the Duke of Albany, the next in royal 
succession, ruled the kingdom in name, as 
he had for many years in fact. 

There existed between France and Scot- 
land that sure bond of friendship between 
nations — a common hatred. This had given 
birth to a political alliance which was to be 
a thorn in the side of England for many 


years. French soldiers and French gold 
strengthened Scotland in her chronic war 
with England, and in return the Scots sent 
their soldiers to the aid of the Dauphin of 
France. It was this which gave such value 
to the royal prisoner. He could be used by 
Henry IV. to restrain the French alliance, 
and also to keep in check the ambitious 
Duke of Albany, by the fact that he could 
in an hour reduce him to insignificance by 
restoring James to his throne. 

Such were some of the influences at work 
during the eighteen years while the Scottish 
Prince with keen intelligence was drinking 
in the best culture of his age, and at the 
same time studying the superior civilization 
and government of the land of his captivity. 
He seems to have studied also to some 
effect the affairs of his own kingdom. He 
was released in 1424, crowned at Scone, and 
a new epoch commenced. He had resolved 
to break the power of the nobles, and with 
extraordinary energy he set about his task ! 
There was a long and unsettled account with 
his own relatives. He knew well who had 
humiliated and broken his father's heart, 
and starved to death his brother Rothesay, 


and, as he believed, had also conspired with 
Henry IV, for his own capture and eighteen 
years' captivity. The old conspirator who 
had been the chief author of these things 
had recently died, but his son wore his 
title. So the Duke of Albany (the King's 
cousin) and a few of the most conspicuous of 
the conspirators were seized, tried, and one 
after another five of the King's kindred died 
by the axe, in front of Stirling Castle. It 
was one of those outbursts of wrath after 
a long period of wrongdoing, terrible but 
wholesome. An unscrupulous nobility had 
wrenched the power from the Crown, and it 
must be restored, or the kingdom would 
perish. This disease, common to European 
monarchies, could only be cured by just 
such a drastic remedy ; successfully tried 
later in France, by Louis XI. (fifteenth cen- 
tury), by Ivan the Terrible in Russia (six- 
teenth century), and by slower methods 
accomplished in England, commencing with 
William the Conqueror, and completed 
when great nobles were cringing at the 
feet of Henry VIII. There are times when 
a tyrant is a benefactor. And when a cen- 
tralized, or even a despotic, monarchy sup- 


plants an oligarchy, it is a long step in 

This ablest of the Stuart kings was assas- 
sinated in 1437 by the enemies he had shorn 
of power, his own kindred removing the 
bolts to admit his murderers. He was the 
only sovereign of the Stuart line who inher- 
ited the heroic qualities of his great ances- 
tor Robert Bruce, a line which almost fa- 
tally entangled England, and sprinkled the 
pages of history with tragedies, four out of 
the fourteen dying violent deaths, two of 
broken hearts, while two others were be- 

It is a temptation to linger for a moment 
over the personal traits of James I. We 
shall not find again among Scottish kings 
one who is possessed of " every manly ac- 
complishment," one who plays upon the or- 
gan, the flute, the psaltery, and upon the 
harp "like another Orpheus," who draws 
and paints, is a poet, and what all the world 
loves — a lover. It was his pure, tender, ro- 
mantic passion for Lady Jane Beaufort, 
whom he married, just before his return to 
his kingdom, which inspired his poem, " The 
Kingis Qukaiir" (the King's book), a work 


never approached by any other poet-king, 
and which marked a new epoch in the his- 
tory of Scottish poetry. It is the story of 
his life and his love — a fantastic mingling of 
fact and allegory after the fashion of Chau- 
cer and other mediaeval writers. It is pleas- 
ant to fancy that a sympathetic friendship 
may have existed between the unfortunate 
youth and the warm - hearted, impulsive 
Prince Hal, who, immediately upon his ac- 
cession as Henry V., had James transferred 
from the Tower to Windsor. There it was 
he spent the last ten years of his captivity, 
there he met Lady Jane Beaufort, and wrote 
a great part of his poem. 

The turbulence which had been checked 
by the splendid energy of James I., revived 
with increased fury after his death. The 
fifty years in which James II. and James 
III. reigned, but did not govern, is a mean- 
ingless period, over which it would be folly 
to linger. If it had any purpose it was to 
show how utterly base an unpatriotic feu- 
dalism could become — Douglases, Craw- 
fords, Livingstons, Crichtons, Boyds, like 
ravening beasts of prey tearing each other to 
pieces, and trying to outwit by perfidy when 


force failed ; Livingstons holding the infant 
King, James II., a prisoner in Stirling Castle, 
of which they were hereditary governors, 
and together with the Crichtons entrapping 
the young Earl of Douglas and his brother 
by an invitation to dine, and then behead- 
ing them both — so that it is with satisfaction 
we learn of the King's reaching his majority 
and beheading a half-score of Livingstons at 
Edinburgh Castle ! Then to the Douglases 
is traced every disorder in the realm, and 
with relief we hear of their disgrace and 
banishment, only to have the Boyds come 
upon the scene with a villanous conspiracy 
to seize the young King, James III., they, 
after rising to power, swiftly and tragically 
to fall again. History could not afford a 
more shameful and senseless display of de- 
pravity than in these human vultures. A 
Scottish writer says: " There was nothing 
but slaughter in this realm, every party ly- 
ing in wait for another, as they had been 
setting tinchills (snares) for wild beasts." 

In viewing this raging storm of anarchy 
one wonders what had become of the peo- 
ple. We hear nothing of them. They had 
no political influence, and if they had repre- 


sentatives in Parliament, they were dumb, 
for the voice of the Commons was never 
heard. But there is reason to believe that, 
in spite of the ferocious feudal and social 
anarchy, the urban population and the peas- 
antry were groping their way into a higher 
civilization. That better ways of living pre- 
vailed we may infer from sumptuary laws 
enacted by James III., and in the founding 
of three universities (St. Andrew's, 1411, 
Glasgow, 1450, and Aberdeen, 1494) there 
is sure indication that beneath the turbid 
political surface there flowed a stream of in- 
tellectual life. From these literary centres 
" learned Scotsmen" began to swarm over 
the land, and a solid scholarship was the 
aim of ambitious youths, who found in that 
the road to posts of distinction once won 
only by arms. There was a small body of 
national literature. Barbour's poem, "The 
Brus," led the way in the fourteenth century, 
then King James's poem in the fifteenth, 
then Henryson and Boece, and the proces- 
sion of splendid names had commenced 
which was to be joined in later ages by 
Burns, Scott, and Carlyle. 

England had now become the refuge for 


disgraced and intriguing nobles. The Duke 
of Albany, the Earl of Douglas, and others 
entered into negotiations with the English 
King, offering to acknowledge his feudal 
superiority, he in return promising to give 
the crown of Scotland to Albany. A battle 
between the English and Scottish forces took 
place in the vicinity of Stirling. During the 
engagement King James was thrown from 
his horse and then slain by his miscreant 
nobles (1488). The scheme was a failure, 
and the son of the murdered King was at 
once crowned James IV. Henry VII., now 
King of England, conceived a plan of ce- 
menting friendty relations between the two 
kingdoms by the marriage of his daughter, 
Princess Margaret, with the young King. 
This union, so fruitful in consequences, took 
place at Holyrood in 1502, amid great re- 

During the two preceding reigns the rela- 
tions of Scotland with her great neighbor 
were comparatively peaceful. But in 1509 
Queen Margaret's brother, Henry VIII., was 
crowned King of England. Family ties sat 
very lightly upon this monarch, and his 
hostile purposes soon became apparent, and 


the friendly relations were broken. A war 
between France and England was the signal 
for a renewal of the old alliance between the 
French and the Scots. James himself led an 
army against that of his brother-in-law 
across the Tweed, and at Flodden met an 
overwhelming defeat and his own death 

Europe was now unconsciously on the 
brink of a moral and spiritual revolution, 
a revolution which was going to affect no 
country more profoundly than Scotland. 
The Church of Rome, deeply embedded and 
wrought into the very structure of every 
European nation, seemed like a part of nat- 
ure. As soon would men have expected to 
see the foundations of the continent removed, 
and yet there was a little rivulet of thought 
coursing through the brain of an obscure 
monk in Germany which was going to un- 
dermine and overthrow it, and cause a new 
Christendom to arise upon its ruins. And 
strangely, too, as if by pre-arrangement, that 
wonderful new device — the printing press — 
stood ready, waiting to disseminate the prop- 
aganda of a Reformed Church ! 

But kings and nobles went on as before 


with their absorbing game. The infant 
James V. was proclaimed king. The condi- 
tions which had disgraced the minority of his 
predecessors were repeated, and until he was 
eighteen he was virtually a prisoner ; then 
with relentless severity he turned upon the 
traitors. The Kef ormation which was assum- 
ing great proportions was beginning to creep 
into Scotland. The Catholic King, with a 
double intent, placed Primates of the Church 
in all the great offices, and the excluded 
nobles began to lean toward the new faith. 
Luther's works were prohibited and strin- 
gent measures adopted to drive heretical lit- 
erature out of the land. When, for reasons 
we all know, Henry VIII. became an illus- 
trious convert to Protestantism, he tried to 
bring about a marriage between his nephew, 
James, and his young daughter, Princess 
Mary ; at the same time urging his nephew 
to join him in throwing off the authority of 
the Pope. But James made a choice preg- 
nant with consequences for England. He 
married, in 1538, Mary, daughter of the great 
Duke of Guise in France ; thus rejecting the 
peaceful overtures of his uncle, Henry VIII., 
and confirming the French alliance and 


the anti-Protestant policy of his kingdom. 
Henry was displeased, and commenced an 
exasperating course toward Scotland. There 
was a small engagement with the English at 
Sol way Moss, which ended in a panic and 
defeat of the Scots. This so preyed upon 
the mind of the King that his spirit seemed 
broken. The news of the birth of a daugh- 
ter — Mary Stuart — came to him simultan- 
eously with that of the defeat. He was full 
of vague, tragic forebodings, sank into a 
melancholy, and expired a week later (1542). 
The little Queen Mary at once became the 
centre of state intrigues. Henry VIII. se- 
cured the co-operation of disaffected Scotch 
nobles in a plan to place her in his hands as 
the betrothed of his son, Prince Edward. A 
treaty of alliance was drawn and signed, 
agreeing to the marriage, with the usual 
condition of the feudal lordship of the Eng- 
lish King over Scotland. The Scottish Par- 
liament, through the efforts of Cardinal 
Beaton, rejected the proposal, and the furi- 
ous Henry declared * war, with instructions 
to sack, burn, and put to death without 
mercy, Cardinal Beaton's destruction being 
especially enjoined. The Cardinal, in the 


meantime, was trying to stamp out the Re- 
form-fires which were spreading with ex- 
traordinary swiftness. There were execu- 
tions and banishments. Wishart, the Re- 
former and friend of John Knox, was burned 
at the stake. Following this there was a 
conspiracy for the death of the Cardinal, who 
was assassinated, and his Castle of St. An- 
drew became the stronghold of the conspir- 
ators. John Knox, for his own safety, took 
refuge with them, and upon the surrender of 
the castle to a French force, Knox was sent 
a prisoner to the French galleys. 

The infant Queen, now six years old, was 
betrothed to the grandson of Francis I. and 
conveyed by Lord Livingston to France for 
safe-keeping until her marriage. Her mother, 
Mary of Guise, was Regent of Scotland, and 
doing her best to stem the tide of Protest- 
antism. The spread of the Reformed faith 
was amazing. It took on at first a form 
more ethical than doctrinal. It was against 
the immoralities of the clergy that a sternly 
moral people rose in its wrath, and, on the 
other hand, it was the reading of the Script- 
ures, and interpreting them without author- 
ity, for which men were condemned to the 


stake, their accusers saying, " What shall 
we leave to the bishops to do, when every 
man shall be a babbler about the Bible?" 
Carlyle says the Reformation gave to Scot- 
land a soul. But it might have fared differ- 
ently had not a co-operating destiny at the 
same time given Scotland a John Knox ! 
Knox was to the Reformed Church in Scot- 
land what the body of the tree is to its 
branches. He not only poured his own un- 
compromising life into the branches, but 
then determined the direction in which they 
should inflexibly grow. Knox had been the 
friend and disciple of Calvin in Geneva. 
The newly awakened soul in Scotland fed 
upon the theology of that great logician as 
the bread of heaven, and Calvinism was for- 
ever rooted in the hearts and minds of the 

The marriage of Queen Mary with the 
Dauphin had been quickly followed by the 
death of Henry II., and her young consort 
was King of France. Queen Elizabeth, in re- 
sponse to an appeal from the Reformed 
Church, sent a fleet and soldiers to meet the 
powerful French force which would now 
surely come. But the reign of Francis II. 


was brief. In 1560 tidings came that lie was 
dead. Mary now resolved to return to her 
own kingdom. Elizabeth tried to intercept 
her by the way, but she arrived safely and 
was warmly welcomed. She was nineteen, 
beautiful, gifted, rarely accomplished, had 
been trained in the most brilliant and gayest 
capital in Europe, and was a fervent Catho- 
lic. She came back to a land which had by 
Act of Parliament prohibited the Mass and 
adopted a religious faith she considered 
heretical, and a land where Protestantism in 
its austerest form had become rooted, and 
where John Knox, its sternest exponent, held 
the conscience of the people in his keeping. 
What to her were only simple pleasures, 
were to them deadly sins. When the Mass 
was celebrated after her return, so intense 
was the excitement, the chapel-door had to 
be guarded, and Knox proclaimed from the 
pulpit, that "an army of 10,000 enemies 
would have been less fearful to him" than 
this act of the Queen." 

During the winter in Edinburgh the gay e- 
ties gave fresh offence. Knox declared that 
" the Queen had danced excessively till after 
midnight." And then he preached a sermon 


on the " Vices of Princes," which was an 
open attack upon her uncles, the Guises in 
France. Mary sent for the preacher, and re- 
proved him for disrespect in trying to make 
her an object of contempt and hatred to her 
people, adding, " I know that my uncles and 
ye are not of one religion, and therefore I do 
not blame you, albeit you have no good opin- 
ion of them." The General Assembly passed 
resolutions recommending that it be enacted 
by Parliament that ' ' all papistical idolatry 
should be suppressed in the realm, not alone 
among the subjects, but in the Queen's own 
person." Mary, with her accustomed tact, 
replied, that she "was not yet persuaded in 
the Protestant religion, nor of the impiety 
in the Mass. But although she would not 
leave the religion wherein she had been 
nourished and brought up, neither would 
she press the conscience of any, and, on their 
part, they should not press her conscience." 
We cannot wonder that Mary was re- 
volted by the harshness of John Knox ; nor 
can we wonder that he was alarmed. A 
fascinating queen, with a rare talent for 
diplomacy, and in personal touch with all 
the Catholic centres in Europe, was a for- 


midable menace to the Reformed Church in 
Scotland, and would in all probability have 
temporarily overthrown it, had not the 
course of events been unexpectedly arrested. 
Every Court in Europe was scheming for 
Mary's marriage. Proposals from Spain, 
France, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, and the 
Earl of Leicester in England were all con- 
sidered. Mary's preference was for Don 
Carlos of Spain ; but when this proved im- 
possible, she made, suddenly, an unfortu- 
nate choice. Henry Stewart, who was Lord 
Darnley, the son of the Earl of Lennox, was, 
like herself, the great grandchild of Henry 
VII. That was a grrnt point in eligibility, 
but the only one. He was a Catholic, three 
years younger than herself, good-looking, 
weak and vicious. The marriage was cele- 
brated at Holyrood in 1565, and Mary be- 
stowed upon her consort the title of king. 
This did not satisfy him. He demanded that 
the crown should be secured to him for life ; 
and that if Mary died childless, his heirs 
should succeed. With such violence and 
insolence did Darnley press these demands, 
and so open were his debaucheries, that 
Mary was revolted and disgusted. Her chief 


minister was an Italian named Rizzio, a 
man of insignificant, mean exterior, but as- 
tute and accomplished. There seems no 
reason to believe that Darnley was ever jeal- 
ous of the Italian, but he believed that he 
was an obstacle to his ambitious designs 
and was using his influence with Mary to de- 
feat them. He determined to remove him. 
While Rizzio and the Queen were in conver- 
sation in her cabinet, Darnley entered, seized 
and held Mary in his grasp, while his as- 
sassins dragged Rizzio into an adjoining 
room and stabbed him to death. Who can 
wonder that she left him, saying, " I shall be 
your wife no longer ! " But after the birth 
of her infant, three months later, her feelings 
seem to have softened, and it looked like 
heroic devotion when she went to his bed- 
side while he was recovering from small-pox, 
and had him tenderly removed to a house 
near Edinburgh, where she could visit him 

It will never be known whether Mary was 
cognizant of or, even worse, accessory to 
Darnley' s murder, which occurred at mid- 
night a few hours after she had left him, 
February 9, 1567. 


Suspicion pointed at once to the Earl of 
Bothwell. The Court acquitted him, but 
public opinion did not. And it was Mary's 
marriage with this man which was her un- 
doing. Innocent or guilty, the world will 
never forgive her for having married, three 
months after her husband's death, the man 
believed to be his murderer ! Even her 
friends deserted her. A prisoner at Loch- 
leven Castle, she was compelled to sign an 
act of abdication in favor of her son. A few 
of the Queen's adherents, the Hamiltons, Ar- 
gyles, Setons, Livingstons, Flemings, and 
others gathered a small army in her support 
and aided her escape, which was quickly 
followed by a defeat in an engagement near 
Glasgow. Mary then resolved upon the step 
which led her by a long, dark, and dreary 
pathway to the scaffold. She crossed into 
England and threw herself upon the mercy 
of her cousin, Elizabeth. 

Immediately upon the Queen's abdication 
her son, thirteen months old, was crowned 
James VI. of Scotland. There was a power- 
ful minority which disapproved of all these 
proceedings ; so now there was a Queen's 
party, a King's party, the latter, under the 


regency of Moray, having the support of the 
Reformed clergy. These conditions promised 
a bitter and prolonged contest, which promise 
was fully realized ; and not until 1573 was 
the party of the Queen subdued. During 
the minority of the King a new element had 
entered into the conflict. The Reformation 
in Scotland had, as we have seen, under the 
vigorous leadership of John Knox, assumed 
theCalvinistic type. In England, during the 
reign of Elizabeth, a more modified form had 
been adopted — an episcopacy, with a house 
of bishops, a liturgy, and a ritual. To the 
Scotch Reformers this was a compromise 
with the Church of Rome, no less abhorrent 
to them than papacy. The struggle resolved 
itself into one between the advocates of these 
rival forms of Protestantism, each striving to 
obtain ascendancy in the kingdom, and con- 
trol of the King. Some of the most moderate 
of the Protestants approved of restoring the 
ecclesiastical estate which had disappeared 
from Parliament with the Reformation, and 
having a body of Protestant clergy to sit with 
the Lords and Commons. These questions, 
of such vital moment to the consciences of 
many, were to others merely a cloak for 


personal ambitions and political intrigues. 
When James was seventeen years old, the 
method already so familiar in Scotland, was 
resorted to. In order to separate him from 
one set of villanous plotters, he was en- 
trapped by another by an invitation to visit 
Ruthven Castle, where he found himself a 
prisoner, and when the plot failed, the Re- 
formed clergy did its best to shield the per- 
petrators, who had acted with their knowl- 
edge and consent. 

But James had already made his choice 
between the two forms of Protestantism, and 
the basis of his choice was the sacredness of 
the royal prerogative. A theology which 
conflicted with that, was not the one for his 
kingdom. He would have no religion in 
which presbyters and synods and laymen 
were asserting authority. The King, God's 
anointed, was the natural head of the Church, 
and should determine its policy. Such was 
the theory which even at this early time 
had become firmly lodged in the acute and 
narrow mind of the precocious youth, and 
which throughout his entire reign was the 
inspiration of his policy. In the proceedings 
following the " Ruthven Raid," as it is 


called, he openly manifested liis determina- 
tion to introduce episcopacy into his king- 

So the conflict was now between the clergy 
and the Crown. The latter gained the first 
victory. Parliament, in 1584, affirmed the 
supreme authority of the King in all matters 
civil and religious. The act placed unprece- 
dented powers in his hands, saying, " These 
powers by the gift of Heaven belong to his 
Majesty and to his successors." And so it 
was that in 1584 the current started which, 
after running its ruinous course, was to ter- 
minate in 1649 in the tragedy at Whitehall. 
There was a reaction from the first triumph 
of divine right, and in 1592 the Act of Royal 
Supremacy was repealed, and the General 
Assembly succeeded in obtaining parliamen- 
tary sanction for the authority of the pres- 

The Roman Catholic Church, although no 
longer conspicuous in the arena of politics, 
was by no means extinguished in Scotland. 
Its stronghold was in the North, among the 
Highlands, where it is estimated that out of 
the 14,000 Catholics in the kingdom, 12,000 
were still clinging with unabated ardor to the 


old religion. It was this minority, with many 
powerful chiefs for its leaders, which looked 
to Mary as the possible restorer of the faith ; 
and this was the nursery and the hatching- 
ground for all the plots with France or Spain 
which for twenty years were leading Mary 
step by step toward Fotheringay. Whether 
the copies of the compromising letters which 
convicted her of complicity in these plots 
would have stood the test of an impartial 
investigation to-day we cannot say ; but we 
know that Mary's tarnished name was re- 
stored almost to lustre by the fortitude and 
dignity with which she bore her long captiv- 
ity, and met the moment of her tragic re- 
lease (1587). There is something in this 
story which has touched the universal heart, 
and the world still weeps over it. But we do 
not hear that it ever cost her son one pang. 
James was twenty years old when Elizabeth 
signed the fatal paper, and if he ever made 
an effort to save his mother or shed a single 
tear over her fate, history does not mention 
it. Perhaps it was in recognition of this, or 
it may have been in reward for his cham- 
pionship of episcopacy, that Elizabeth made 
James her heir and successor. Whatever 


was the impelling motive, the protracted 
struggle between the two nations came to a 
strange ending ; not the supremacy of an 
English king in Scotland, as had been so 
often attempted, but the reign of a Scottish 
king in England. Elizabeth died in 1603, 
leaving to the son of Mary her crown, and a 
few days later James arrived in London, was 
greeted by the shouts of his English subjects, 
and crowned James I., King of England, 
upon the Stone of Destiny. 

The limits of this sketch do not permit 
more than the briefest mention of the pe- 
riod between the union of the crowns, and 
the legislative union, a century later, when 
the two kingdoms became actually one. Its 
chief features were the resistance to en 
croachments upon the polity and organiza- 
tion of the Presbyterian Church in Scotland, 
the cruelty and oppressions used by Charles 
I. to enforce the use of the liturgy of the 
Church of England, the formation of the 
"National Covenant," a sacred bond by 
which the Covenanters solemnly pledged an 
eternal fidelity to their Church, the alliance 
between the Scotch Covenanters and English 
Puritans, and the consequences to Scotland 


of the overthrow of the monarchy by Crom- 
well. Still later (1689) came the rising of the 
Highland chiefs and clans, the Jacobites, as 
the adherents of the Stuarts are called, an 
attempt by the Catholics in the North to 
bring about the restoration of the exiled 
King or his son, the Pretender. 

Statesmen in England, and some in Scot- 
land, believed there would be no peace until 
the two countries were organically joined. In 
the face of great opposition a treaty of union 
was ratified by the Scottish Parliament in 
1707. The country was given a representa- 
tion of forty-five members in the English 
House of Commons, and sixteen peers in the 
House of Lords, and it was provided that 
the Presbyterian Church should remain un- 
changed in worship, doctrine, and govern- 
ment " to the people of the land in all suc- 
ceeding generations." With this final Act 
the Scottish Parliament passed out of exist- 

The wisdom of this measure has been 
abundantly justified by the results — a 
growth in all that makes for material pros- 
perity, a richer intellectual life, and peace. 
After centuries of anarchy and misrule and 


aimless upheavals, Scotland had reached a 
haven. Her triumph has been a moral and 
an intellectual triumph, not political. In 
intellectual splendor her people may chal- 
lenge the world, and in moral elevation and 
in righteousness they will find few peers. 
But candor compels the admission that 
Scotland has no more than Ireland proved 
herself capable of maintaining a separate 
nationality. Without the excuse of her sis- 
ter island, never the victim of a foreign con- 
quest, left to herself, with her own kings and 
government for nearly a thousand years, 
what do we see ? A brave, spirited, warlike 
race with a passion for liberty dominated 
and actually effaced by vicious kings, in- 
triguing regents, and a corrupt nobility ; 
only once, under Wallace and Bruce, rising 
to heroic proportions, and then to throw off 
a foreign yoke and under leaders who were 
both of Norman extraction. 

Never once were her native oppressors 
checked or awed ; never once did an out- 
raged people unite under a great political 
leader ; and only one sovereign after Bruce 
(James I.) can be said to have had great 
kingly qualities. What are we to conclude? 


Are we not compelled to believe that Scot- 
land reached her highest destiny when she 
was joined to England, and when she be- 
stowed her leaven of righteousness and her 
moral strength and the genius of her sons, 
and received in exchange the political pro- 
tection of her great neighbor % 




Egbert Soo »© 

Ethelwulf 836 x 

Ethelbald 857 \° 

Ethelbert 860 

Ethelred 866 

Alfred 871 

Edward the Elder 901 

Athelstan 925 

Edmund 940 

Edred 946 

Edwy 955 

Edgar 957 

Edward the Martyr 975 

Ethelred the Unready 978 

Edmund Ironside 10 16 


Canute ; i o 1 7 0/ 

Harold 1 1030 

Hardi Canute io 39 


Edward the Confessor 1041^-^ 

Harold II 1066 ** 



William I IJofcfr r<% 

William II 1087 * 

Henry I 1 1 00 

Stephen 11 35 


Henry II 11 54^. <\ 

Richard I 1 189 *£^ 

John 1 1 99 

Henry III 12 16 

Edward 1 1272 

Edward II 13° 7 

Edward III i3 2 7 

Richard II 1 377 


Henry IV J 399 

Henry V 141 3 

Henry VI 1422 


Edward IV 1461 

Edward V 1483 

Richard III 1483 


Henry VII 1485 

Henry VIII ^OQ 

Edward VI 1547 

Mary 1553 

Elizabeth 1558 


James 1 1603 

Charles 1 1625 




A. D. 

Charles II 1660 

James II 1685 

William and Mary 1688 

Anne 1702 


George 1 17 14 

George II J 7 2 7 

George III 1760 

George IV 1820 

William IV 1830 

Victoria 1 83 7 

Edward VII 1901 


Began to Reign 

A. D. 

Kenneth II 836 

L'nion with the Picts 843 

Donald V 854 

Constantino II 858 

Ethus • 874 

Gregory 875 

Donald VI 892 

Constantino III 903 

Malcolm 1 943 

Indulfus 952 

Duff 961 


A. D. 

Culcnus 966 

Kenneth III 970 

Constantine IV 994 

Grimus 996 

Malcolm II 1004 

Duncan I 1 034 

Macbeth 1 040 

Malcolm III io 57 

Donald VII io 93 

Duncan II 1094 

Edgar 1 098 

Alexander I 1 107 

David I 1 1 24 

Malcolm IV 11 53 

William 1165 

Alexander II 1 2 14 

Alexander III 1 249 


John Baliol 1 293 

Robert I (Bruce) 1306 

David II 1 33° 

Edward Baliol I 33 2 

Robert II I 37° 

Robert III *39° 



James 1 1424 

James II 1 437 

James III 1460 

James IV 1 489 

James V 15 14 

Mary Stuart 1 544 

Mary and ) ■ ■ ,-. „ A „ 

Henry Stuart p 011 * 1 ? J 5 6 5 

James VI 1567 



Abelard, 53 

Act of Supremacy, 84 

Addison, 135 

Agincourt, 65 

Agricola, 13 

Albert, Prince of Saxe-Coburg, 

159, 171 
Alfred, King, 27, 40 

Anglo-Saxons, 15-20, 22, 39 

Anne Boleyn, 75, 77 

Anne, of Cleves, 78 

Anne, Queen of England, 131, 

Anselm, 38 

Antoninus, 14 

Aquitaine, 65 

Army Plot, 116 

Arthur, King, 16 

Arthur, Prince 48 

Atlantic Cable, 169 

Bacon, Francis, 95, 100 
Bacon, Roger, 53 
Baeda, 27 

Balaklava, Battle of, 163 
Bank of England, 130 

Bannockburn, Battle of, 56 

Basques, 10 

Bayeux Tapestry, ^^ 

Bedford, Duke of, 65 

Bible, 101 

Bill of Rights, 127 

Black Death, 58 

Black Prince, 58 

Blenheim, Battle of, 133 

Boadicea, n 

Bosworth, Battle of, 71 

Bothwell, 93 

Boyne, Battle of, 127 

Bright, John, 160, 171 

British Association, 27 

Britons, 10, 14, 20 

Bruce, Robert, 56 

Bruno, 86 

Buddha, 193 

Buller, General, 185 

Bunker Hill, 148 

Bunyan, 124 

Burke, 145, 149 

Burney, Frances, 153 

Burns, 153 

Byron, 154 




Cade, Jack, 66 
Caedmon, 26 

Caesar, 11 

Calais, 81 

Calcutta, Black Hole of, 140 

Calvin, 84 

Canada, 140, 143 

Canning, 149 

Canterbury, 25, 45 

Canterbury, Archbishop of, 44 

Canute, 31 

Cape of Good Hope, 172 

Caroline, of Brunswick, 156 

Caroline, Queen, 138 

Catharine de Medici, 91 

Catholicism, Roman Church, 

25, 63, 74-79, 8 3> 99, I2 3 
Cavaliers, 123, 137 
Cawnpore, Massacre at, 166 
Caxton, 71 
Cerdic, 19-22 
Charles I, 102, 118 
Charles II, 121, 123 
Charles V, 74 
Charles VII, 65 
Charlotte, Princess, 156 
Chaucer, 60 
Christianity, 18, 23, 26 
Chronicle, 149 
Church of England, 76, 8^ 
Churchill, John, 132 
Circuits, 45 
Clarence, Duke, 62 
Claudius, 11 
Clive, 140 
Cobden, Richard, 160 

Coleridge, 149, 153 
Colonies, The Thirteen, 145 
Commonwealth, 119 
Conservatives, 137, 157 
Constance, of Brittany, 48 
Ccok, Captain, 143 
Cornwallis, Lord, 148 
Court of Appeals, 45 
Cowper, 153 
Crecy, Battle of, 57 
Crimean War. 162 
Cromlechs, 9 

Cromwell, Oliver, 117, 119 
Cromwell, Thomas, 77 
Cronje, General, 185-19 1 
Crusades, 42, 47 
Culloden Moor, 139 

Daguerre, 169 

Danes, 30 

Darnley, Lord, 93 

Defoe, 135 

De Wet, 189 

Dickens, 170 

Disraeli (Lord Beaconsfield), 

160, 171 
Domesday Book, 36 
Drake, Sir Francis, 94 
Duflerin, 187 
Duncan, 31 
Dutch East India Co., 172 

East India Co., 89, 140, 149, 

Edict of Nantes, 173 
Education Bill, 195 



Edward "the Confessor," 32 
Edward I, 54 
Edward II, 56 
Edward III, 56, 62, 66 
Edward IV, 68 
Edward V, 70 
Edward VI, 78, 79 
Edward VII, 191 
Edward, of York, 67 
Edward, Prince of Wales, 68 
Edwin, 26 
Egbert, 23 
Elizabeth, 80, 82 
Erasmus, 71 
Escurial, 86 
Exeter, Duke of, 69 
Exposition, 169 

Fawkes, Guy, 99 
Feudalism, 34, 66, 69 
Fielding, 135 
Flodden Field, 91 
Florida, Cession of, 141 
Fox, 145, 148, 149 
Franchise, 184 
Francis I, 74 
Frith-Gilds, 40 
Fulton, 154 

Gage, General, 147 
Geoffrey, Count of Anjou, 43 
Geoffrey, Prince, 48 
George I, Elector of Hanover, 

i35> 138 
George II, 138 
George III, 143, 146, 151 

George IV, 155 

George, Prince of Denmark, 134 

Gilds, 40 

Gladstone, 171 

Godwin, 32 

Goldsmith, 153 

Grand Alliance, 131, 132 

Grand Lama, 193 

Great Britain, 101 

Great Trek, 175 

Gregory, Pope, 24 

Grey, Lady Jane, 79 

Guise, House of, 92, 102, 123 

Guise, Mary, 91 

Gunpowder Plot, 99 

Habeas Corpus, 123, 124 

Hadrian, 14 

Hampden, John, 106, 112, 116 

Hanover, House of, 135 

Harold, 32, ^> 3 8 

Hastings (Senlac), Battle of, ^7. 

Hastings, Warren, 149 

Havelock, General. 167 

Hengest, 22 

Henrietta, of France, 103 

Henry I, 42 

Henry II, 44 

Henry III, 51 

Henry IV, 63 

Henry V, 64 

Henry VI, 68 

Henry VII, 71 

Henry VIII, 73-79 

Henry Tudor, 71 

High Commission Court, 115 



Hinterland, 176 

Horsa, 22 

House of Commons, 54, 63, 

87, no, 156 
Howard, John, 153 
Howard, Katharine, 78 
Huguenots, 89, 173, 186 
Hundred Years' War, 65 

Iberians, 10 

India, 140, 143, 164, 168 
India, Viceroy of, 192-193 
Ireland, 154, 159, 194 

Jackson, General Andrew, 151 
James I, of England, 96, 99, 

James II, 123, 125 
James IV, of Scotland, 90 
James V, of Scotland, 91 
James VI, of Scotland, 94 
Jameson Raid, 182, 183 
Jamestown, Virginia, 99 
Jeffries, Chief Justice, 124 
Jew, 36, 51, 53, 55 
Joan of Arc, 65 
John, Prince, 46 
John of Gaunt, 62 
Johnson, 153 
Joubert, General, 185 
Jutes, 22 

Kaffir, 188 

Katharine, Princess of Aragon, 

Katharine, Princess, 65 

Kelt, 20 
Keltic-Aryans, 9 

Keltic-Britons, 13, 55 

Keltic-Gauls, 13 

King's Court, 42, 45 

Knox, John, 94 

Kruger, Paul Stephanus, 177 

Lancaster, Duke of, 62 
Lancaster, House of, 62, 67, 71 
Laud, Archbishop, 103, in, 

Leicester, Earl of, 95 
Lexington, Battle of, 148 
Lhassa, 193 
Liberals, 137, 157 
Lionel of York, 67 
Lollards, 64 
London, n, 12, 35 
Long Parliament, 1 14-120 
Louis XIV, 126 
Loyalists, 114 
Luther, 74 

Magna Charta, 49 
Margaret, Princess, 90 
Marlborough, Lord, 132 
Mary Stuart, 81, 89, 96 
Mary Tudor, 80 
Massachusetts Charter, 107, 

Massacre of St, Bartholomew's, 

Matilda, 43 
Mayflower, 98 
Merchant Co., 89, 140 



Metabeli, 178 

Methodism, 141 
Milner, Sir Alfred, 1S4 
Milton, 124 
Monopolies, 112 
Montcalm, 140 
More, Sir Thomas, 73, 95 
Mortimer, 56 
Motley, John, 186 

Napoleon Bonaparte, 150 
Naseby, Battle of, 117 
Natal, 178 
Netherlands, 186 
New England, 98 
Newton, 124 

Nightingale, Florence, 164 
Nonconformists, 195 
Normandy, 42 
North, Lord, 148 
Northmen, 30 

O'Connell, Daniel, 155 
Opus Maius, 53 
Orange Free State, 175, 179 
Orleans, Battle of, 65 
Ouck, Kingdom of, 165 
Oxford, 52, 54, 59, 71 

Parliament, 54, 62, 69, 88, 105 

Parr, Katharine, 78 

Peel, Sir Robert, 155 

Petition of Right, 106, 127 

Philip II, of Spain, 80, 85 

Picts, 13, 14, 23 

Pitt, William, 142, 145 

Plantagenet, 44, 58 
Plymouth, 99 
Popular Sovereignty, 196 
Presbyteriaiiism, 114 
Pretender, 131, 137 
Pretender, the Young, 139 
Protectorale, 119 
Protestantism, 76, 83, 103, 121 
Puritans, 84, 98, 104, 12L 
Pym, 104, 114, 116 

Quebec, Battle of, 144 

Railway, 154 

Raleigh, Sir Walter, 89, 101 

Reform Act, 156 

Reformation, 75, 83 

Rhodes, Cecil, 183 

Richard I, "Cceur de Lion," 

Richard II, 58 

Richard, Duke of York, 62, 67, 

Richard, Duke of Gloucester, 

Robert, Prince, 42 
Roberts, General, 185 
Robsart, Amy, 95 
Romans, 11-16 
Roundheads, 123, 137 
Royalists, 113 
Royal Society, 27 
Russia, 160 

Salisbury Plain, 10, 37 
Scotland, 55, 90, 114 



Scots, 13, 14 

Scott, 153 

Sepoy Rebellion, 165 

Seven Years' War, 139 

Severus, 14 

Seymour, Jane, 78 

Shelley, 154 

Sheridan, 149, 153 

Ship Money, 112, 146 

Sidney, Sir Philip, 86 

Simon de Montfort, 54 

Solway Moss, 91 

South Sea Bubble, 138 

Southey, 153 

Spanish Armada, 94 

Spectator, 135 

Spenser, 86 

Stamp Act, 145 

Star Chamber, no, 115, 120 

Statute of Heresy, 63 

St. Bartholomew's Eve, 89 

Steane, 135 

Steele, 135 

Stephen, King, 43 

Stephenson, George, 154 

Stonehenge, 10, 35 

Strafford, Earl, no, 114 

Stuart, Charles Edward, 139 

Stuart, House of, 91, 97, 123, 

125, 139 
Suez Canal, 171 
Supremacy, Oath of, 155 
Suzerainty, 180, 184 
Sweyn, 31 
Swift, 135 
Sydenham Palace, 169 

Tax on Tea, 146 

Tennyson, 169 

Thackeray, 169 

Thomas a Becket, 44 

Three Years' War, 189 

Tibet, 192 

Times, 149 

Tory, 125, 132, 136, 146 

Transvaal Republic, 178, 1791 

180, 182 
Tudor, House of, 71 
Tyler, Wat, 58 

Uitlanders, 182 
United States, 149, 150 

Victor, Prince, 187 
Victoria, Accession of, 159 
Virginia, Colonization of, 89 

Wales, 55 

Wales, Prince of, 55 
Walpole, Horace, 153 
Walpole, Robert, 136, 138 
War of 1812 with United States, 

Wars of the Roses, 62, 67 
Warwick, Earl of, 66, 67 
Washington, George, 148 
Waterloo, 150 
Watt, James, 150 
Wellington, Duke of, 150, 154 
Wentworth, Sir Thomas, no 
Wesley, John, 141 
^Westminster Abbey, 55 



Whig, 125, 132, 136 

White Ship, 43 

Wickliffe, 59, 64 

Wilberforce, 158 

William the Conqueror, 32 

William, Prince of Orange, 125, 

128, 130, 137 
William Rtifus, 41 

William IV, 156, 159 
Witenagemot, 29 
Wolfe, 140 
Wolsey, Chancellor, 74 

Yangtse Valley, 194 

York, House of, 68 

York, Princess Elizabeth of, 71 


Aberdeen, University of, 297 

Act of Royal Supremacy, 293 

Agricola, 249 

Albany, Duke of, 273, 274, 280 

Alexander III, 258 

Angles, 251 

Annandale, Earl of, 264 

Argyle, 251 

Assembly, General, The, 287 

Ayr, 268 

Baliol, 258, 259, 262 
Bannockburn, 268 
Beaton, Cardinal, 283 
Beaufort, Lady Jane, 276 
Berwick, 268, 269 
Birnam, 254 
Boece, 252, 279 
Bothwell, Earl of, 290 
Boyds, 278 

Bruce, 258, 262-271, 276, 296 
Bruce, Marjory, 272 
Bruis, Robert de, 261 

Canmore, 254 

Catholic Church, 267, 287, 293, 

Corny n, 266 
Covenanters, 295 
Crichtons, 277, 278 
Cromwell, 296 

Danes 251 

Darnley, 288 

David I, King, 258, 264 

David II, 271 

Donegal, 250 

Douglas, Earl of, 273, 278, 280 

Duncan, 251, 254 

Dundee, 262 

Dunsinnane, 254 

Edgar the Atheling, 255 
Edward I of England, 258, 261 
Edward III of England, 271 
Elizabeth, Queen, 285, 290, 




Falkirk, 262 
Fergus, 250, 252 
Floddcn, 2S7 

Glasgow, 262, 279, 290 

Grampians, 260 

Guise, Mary of, 282, 284 

Henry II of England, 257 
Henry IV, 273, 274 
Henry V, 277 
Henry VII, 280 
Henry VIII, 2S0, 282 
Henryson, 279 
Holyrood, 280, 288 

Iona, Monastery at, 250 

Jacobites, 297 

James, Prince, 273, 274 

James I, 276, 277 

James II, 278 

James III, 278, 280 

James IV, 280 

James V, 282 

James VI, 290 

James I of England, 295 

John I, 259-261 

Knox, John, 284, 286 

Lamberton, Bishop of, 266 
Lennox, Earl of, 288 
Lionel, Prince, 272 
Livingston, 278, 284 
Lochleven Castle, 290 

Lothian, 251 
Luther, 282 

Macbeth, 252, 254 
Maid of Norway, 258 
Malcolm II, 251 
Malcolm III, 254, 256 
M'Alpin, Kenneth, 251 
Margaret, 255 
Margaret, Princess, 280 
Mary, Princess, 282 
Moray, 291 

National Covenanters, 295 
Normans, 256, 296 

Parliament, Scottish, 260, 269, 

279, 283, 291, 296 
Pembroke, Earl of, 268 
Picts, 249, 251 

Presbyterian Church, 293, 296 
Pretender, The, 296 
Protestantism, 286 
Puritans, 295 

Reformation, 282, 291 
Reformed Church, 281, 285 y 

288, 291 
Richard I, 257 
Rizzio, 289 
Robert II, 272 
Robert III, 273 
Rothesay, 273, 274 
Ruthven Raid, 292 

Scone, 251, 254, 259, 274 
Scots, 249 


3 11 

Solway Moss, 283 

St. Andrew's University, 279 

St. Columba, 250 

St. Nimian, 250 

Steward, High, of Scotland, 

Stewart, Robert, 272 
Stirling, 262, 268, 275 
Stone of Destiny, 250, 261, 


Stuart, Mary, 283, 286, 288, 

Stuarts, 272, 276, 296 

Tay, River, 251 
Tweed, 251, 281 

William the Lion, 257 
William Wallace, 261, 265, 296 
Wishart, 284 


Act of Settlement, 221 
Act of Uniformity, 210 
Act of Union. 238, 241 
Ard Reagh, 201 
Armagh, 214 

Bard, 202 

Bowes, Lord Chancellor, 226 

Boyne, Battle of, 223 

Brefny, Lord of, 204 

Brehon Law, 202, 205 

Brehons, 202 

Brian Boru, 204 

Caesair, Lady, 199 

Catholic Church, 210, 221-227, 

2.33. 239-241, 244 
Cavendish, Lord Frederick, 

Celts, 201 

Charles I, 213, 215 

Charles II, 216, 218-221, 228 

Christianity, 202-203 

Church of England, 213 

Clan, 201 

Connaught, 201, 212, 216 

Crecy, 208 

Cromlechs, 201 

Cromwell, 216 

Crosby, Sir Francis, 212 

Curran, Sarah, 239 

Danes, 204, 205 
Declaration of Rights, 234 
Dermot, 204 
Desmond, House of, 207, 211, 

Desmond Rebellion, 211 
Dillon, 242 
Dublin, 205, 209 

Edward III, 208 

Elizabeth, Queen, 2.0 
Emmet, Robert, 239 



Enniskillen, 222 
Eric, 202 
Erin, 200 

Famine in Ireland, 241 
Fenians, 244 
Fenius, 200 
Fitzgerald, 237 
Flood, Henry, 232, 237 

Gael, 199 
Gaelic, 200 

Geraldines, 207, 209, 237 
Geraldine League, 211 
Ginkel, 223 
Gladstone, 244, 245 
Godfrey, Sir Edward Bery, 219 
Grattan, Henry, 232, 237 
Great Rebellion, The, of 1690, 

Heber, 199, 200 
Henry II, 204-206 
Henry VII, 209 
Henry VIII, 209 
Heremon, 200 
Hibernia, 200 
Home Rule, 244 
Home Rule Act, 245 

Irish Parliament, 209, 213, 221, 
234, 235, 238 

James II, 221-222 

Kildare, Earl of, 210 
Kildare, House of, 207, 212 
Kilkenny, Statutes of, 208, 210, 

Laud, Archbishop, 213, 215 

Leinster, 201, 204 

Liberals, 244 

Limerick, 223 

Limerick, Articles of, 223 

Locke, 230 

London, 210 

Londonderry, 222 

Long Parliament, 214 

Louis XIV, 222 

Meagher, 242, 247 
Meath, 201, 227 
Milesius, 199 
Mitchell, 242 

Molyneux, William, 230, 234 
Mountjoy, 213 
Mullaghmast, 212 
Munster, 201, 212 

National Land League, 244 
Nemehd, 199 
New Land Act, 246 
Normans, 206, 209 

Oates, Titus, 219 
O'Brien, 204, 206 
O'Brien, Smith, 242 
O'Connell, Daniel, 240 
O'Connells, 206 
O'Moore, Clan of, 212 



O'Neill, Shane the Proud, 211 
O'Neills, 206, 209, 210 
Ormond, House of, 207, 219, 



Palatines, 206 

Pale, Lords of the, 207, 209, 

Parnell, Charles, 244 
Penal Code, 225 
Picts, 200 
Pitt, 237 

Plunkett, Dr., 220 
Popish Plot, 221 
Poyning, Sir Edward, 209 
Poynings Act, 209, 210, 221, 

224, 235 
Presbyterians, 214 
Protestantism, 210, 214, 215, 

219-227, 232 

Reformation, 210 

Rinucini, 216 

Robinson, Chief- Justice, 226 

Roman Christianity, 203 

Rome, 202 

Rory O'Moore, 212 

Saarsfield, 223 

Scota, 199 

Scots, 200 

Sept, 201 

Shinar, 190 

Society of United Irii.hmen, 236 

St. Patrick, 202, 20? 

Strafford, 213, 215 

Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke, 

Swift, Dean, 231 

Tanistry, Law of, 202, 211 

Tara in Meath, 201, 204 

Thomond, 226 

Tone, Wolfe, 236 

Tyrone, Earl of, 210, 213, 214 

Ulster, 201, 210, 212, 213 

Viking, 204 

White Boys, 236 

William of Orange, 222-225 

Wolsey, 209 

Young Ireland, 241